Florida Political News for May 2019

Donald Trump Gets Some Major Financial Help to Carry Florida in 2020America First Action, a Super PAC backing Trump, intends to spend $250 million in six key states, including Florida.

Ron DeSantis, Florida Cabinet Meet in Jerusalem to Build Ties Between Florida and Israel: The Florida Cabinet held a meeting at the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem to “exchange best practices and hear from Israeli leaders on issues of mutual interest to Florida and Israel. Gov. Ron DeSantis had been a supporter of moving the Embassy to Jerusalem during his time in Congress and on the campaign trail last year.

Marco Rubio, Rick Scott Urge Commerce Department Declare Fishery Disaster in Southwest Florida: Florida’s two U.S. senators–Republicans Marco Rubio and Rick Scott–urged the U.S. Commerce Department to approve the state of Florida’s request for a “federal fishery resource disaster declaration as a result of recent significant and persistent red tide events off Southwest Florida’s coast.” The two senators wrote U.S. Commerce Sec. Wilbur Ross on the matter.

Five Florida Counties Could Flip the Entire 2020 Election: With 29 electoral votes, Florida will be one of the most highly-coveted states for President Donald Trump and whoever the Democratic Party nominates.

In 2016, Republicans saw four counties transition from supporting President Barack Obama to supporting then-candidate Trump. Those counties were Jefferson, Monroe, Pinellas and St. Lucie Counties. In addition to those four flips, one county barely maintained its “red” status: Duval County, the home of Jacksonville and a traditional GOP stronghold. Democrats continue to look at Duval County since former Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum narrowly defeated Republican Ron DeSantis there in last year’s gubernatorial race.

Insults Fly Between Rick Scott, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: U.S. Sen. Rick Scottand U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, took the gloves off and ripped into each other over Twitter on Monday. The feud between the Republican senator and the leftist Democrat started when Scott pointed to U.S. Sen. Cory Booker’s, D-NJ, call for a federal gun registry. Booker is currently running for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio Urges DOJ to Investigate John Kerry for Meeting With Iranian Leaders: Rubio wrote U.S. Attorney General William Barr, urging him to examine if Kerry’s meeting on the Iran nuclear deal violated either the Logan Act or the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).

Joe Biden Reels in a Big Endorsement in Florida: 2020 Vice President Joe Biden reeled in a major endorsement in Florida on Thursday evening as U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, D-Fla., backed his presidential bid. “I am pleased to endorse Vice President Joe Biden as our next president,” Lawson said. “Joe has a long history of doing what’s right and not what’s east to advance the causes of America’s working families.”

Ilhan Omar Becomes an Issue in South Florida Congressional Race: Omar has drawn fire in recent weeks for anti-Semitic comments and for recent comments about the Maduro regime in Venezuela.

With South Florida being the home to a large Venezuelan population, the NRCC wanted to know if Mucarsel-Powell thinks Omar should stay on the Foreign Affairs Committee…Mucarsel-Powell edged U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., in November and is expected to be a top target for the GOP in 2020. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) is already running ads defending the congresswoman. Republican businesswoman Irina Vilariño has launched a bid to challenge Mucarsel-Powell. So has Republican Jose Peixoto, an engineer and frequent candidate.

Republican Jan Edwards Launches Challenge to Stephanie Murphy: Central Florida businesswoman Jan Edwards, a Republican, announced on Tuesday that she is challenging U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla.

After working in telecommunications, Edwards founded the Paving the Way Foundation where she currently serves as a president. The foundation looks to fight child trafficking in Florida and at the international level.

Florida Senate Confirms Ron DeSantis’ Executive Agency Heads: The Florida Senate confirmed Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Executive Agency Heads this week. DeSantis weighed in on Wednesday night. “I am proud of the team we have assembled to lead our agencies, which include some of the brightest minds and leaders our state and nation have to offer,” said DeSantis. “I’d like to thank the Florida Senate for confirming my appointments and for recognizing their leadership and talent. I am confident they will advance our shared mission to serve and protect Floridians.”