Webster to kick off reelection campaign next week

Congressman Daniel Webster will be kicking off his reelection campaign next week, in his home town of Winter Garden, looking to earn another term from from the voters of Florida’s 10th Congressional District.

Webster has faced some mean opposition in previous that has revolved around heavy negative attacks from his opponents. In 2010, it was Alan Grayson (who ironically is now his colleague) who launched the infamous “Taliban Dan” ad which featured heavily doctored video of Webster. In 2012 former Orlando police chief Val Demings also took to the attack, accusing him of being too close to lobbyist. She also received millions of dollars in campaign donations from outside of Florida.

This time it will be scrappy Navy Vet Michael “Mac” Mckenna who will meet Webster in the November general. McKenna came out of no where to win the Democratic primary on Tuesday with a strong grassroots game. That will likely be his approach this time.

He’ll once again be a heavy underdog. Webster supporters are arguably the most loyal in Central Florida, and his campaign revolves around efforts on the ground. It won’t be long before you see blue and white canvassing neighborhoods.

You can check out the event invitation below…

webster campaign kick off

Friday Morning Political Headlines: Judd vs. Morgan on Med. Marijuana, Dem Unity in Orlando

TGIF, and it’s a holiday weekend too! Much needed time off for some of you who have been following the primaries.

Good content for you today. Last night, Orland Super Attorney John Morgan and Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd participated in a medical marijuana forum in Lakeland with each taking a “for” and “against” stance respectively. I’ve got some good video footage for you on that.

We’ve also got more coverage of that Democratic Unity rally that took place on the South side yesterday. You can read my coverage of that event HERE.

These stories lead your Friday Morning Political Headlines. Have an awesome holiday weekend guys!

WFTV 9 Eyewitness News: Sheriff Grady Judd, John Morgan face off in medical marijuana debate

WESH 2: Charlie Crist: I have what it takes to battle the ‘money machine’

WKMG Local 6: Judd, Morgan face off at medical marijuana forum

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CF News 13: Charlie Crist, top Democrats unite in Orlando, will voters buy it?

WOFL FOX 35: Judd, Morgan meet at Medical Marijuana Forum.

Orlando Sentinel: Crist, Rich, other Democrats unite in Orlando

Top Florida Democrats meet in Orlando for Crist Unity Rally

Statewide leaders and elected officials from the Florida Democratic Party gathered today in South Orlando, to hold a unity party to bring it’s supporters back together after primaries and prepare them for the charge into November.

The highlight of the rally would be former State Senator Nan Rich publicly expressing her support for the party’s nominee, Republican Governor turned Democratic Candidate for the office Charlie Crist, after winning their primary match-up on Tuesday night.

The rally was held in the Painter’s Union Hall and was kicked off by Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer (this caused some chatter among the media because the Mayor announced he would stay neutral in the Governor’s race at a Rick Scott event a couple of months back story HERE) and featured big name Democrats such as Senator Bill Nelson, Democratic National Chairwoman Debbie Wassermann Schultz, and Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Allison Tant.

“Floridians can see that there is only one candidate for Governor that shares their priorities and that Candidate and the next Governor of Florida is Charlie Crist.” Wassermann Schultz said “There were times when I worked against him when he was Governor. But there were times when we worked together. That’s what we do as Americans. That’s what we do as Floridians. That’s not the case with Rick Scott. With Scott it’s the same ‘do it my way’ politics that’s the problem with Washington”

Senator Bill Nelson slammed Scott on turning down high speed rail and medicaid expansion accusing him of holding a “Tea Party Agenda”. “For those reasons, I am here to enthusiastically endorse Charlie Crist and Annette Taddeo” he said.

This unity rally was also about uniting the Democratic candidates for Attorney General. Perry Thurston endorsed his primary opponent George Sheldon, who defeated him on Tuesday. “We’re going to have a great man who’s going to be our next Attorney General.” he said of Sheldon vowing that he’ll fight for health care, children, and voters right.

When Sheldon took the podium he slammed incumbent GOP AG Pam Bondi “Pam Bondi believes she’s the Governor’s lawyer. I believe the Attorney General is the people’s lawyer” he closed with some smoke “Help me give Pam Bondi the job she really wants, as an Anchor on Fox News.”

After being introduced by Lieutenant Governor Candidate Anette Taddeo, it was time for Nan Rich to take the podium to support Crist. After hugging the others on stage she delivered her remarks “This is one of the earliest phases to unite the party and that’s whats important. So, we can go out and talk to the people we represent. We need good policy and we are going to win in November” about Crist she said “Charlie Crist has made a committment to fight for education. For a higher minimum wage. For full expansion of medicaid. He now bears the Democratic standard, where nothing less than the future of Florida is at stake. Charlie Crist needs all of the support we can get him and he has mine”

When the Democratic nominee finally took the the stage “We’re going to have a ‘Crist-al” clear choice in this race no pundt intended. We’re going to work hard and we’re going to win” he accused Scott of taking away rights from Women and cutting back room deals before praising Rich “God bless you Nan Rich.Talk about class. God bless, Nan Rich”

Not everyone on site was a Crist supporter. To provide the Republican rebuttal at an event that had over 20 Democrats currently holding office, the GOP had a trio of State Lawmakers accompanied by a platoon of protesters outside of the Union Hall. I spoke to State Senator Kelli Stargel, State Representative Ritch Workman, and former State Rep. but favored to return to this office, this November Scott Plakon, who all criticized the Governor for flip-flopping on his entire platform.

“I served with Governor Charlie Crist for 2 years” Plakon said “and he was a Conservative Republican just a couple of years ago and I would warn my Democrat friends here today, that you could best describe Crist like a Box of Chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get”

“You’ve got the institutionalized Democrats, party Democrats if you will, trying to convince 600,000 Democrats that didn’t show up on Tuesday that Charlie Crist is a real Democrat that’s what today is all about. It’s not about putting principles in the Governor’s mansion its about putting a Democrat in the Governor’s mansion” Workman said.

Senator Stargill added “It’s all talk versus action. Charlie Crist is all talk, Governor Scott is all action. Crist has been all over the board on his positions. One position he’s always had is that he’s always love Obama. It’s easy to unite behind him because at sometime or another he’s held every position on every issue.”

The entire Democratic State Delegation was in attendance to include (forgive me if I forget anyone) State Senators Darren Soto, Geraldine Thompson. State Representatives Karen Castor-Dentel, Linda Stewart, Victor Torres, Randolph Bracy, and Joe Saunders. County leaders were also present. Tax Collector Scott Randolph and Orange Democratic Chair Carlos Smith were at the event.

I spoke to Joe Saunders about Crist and the event and here is what he had to say… “I think that Charlie has an amazing chance and I’m excited about the campaign. Every event I go to there are more and more people and I think we’re going to bring it home in November.”

Below are some photos from the event…

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer

Democratic National Committee Chairperson and South Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wassermann Schultz

Democratic National Committee Chairperson and South Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wassermann Schultz

Crist Unity Rally 020

Frank FOX 35 hor

Florida AG Candidate George Sheldon

Florida AG Candidate George Sheldon

LG Candidate Annette Taddeo

LG Candidate Annette Taddeo

Edward Hor

Protesters outside of the event

Protesters outside of the event

Kelli Stargel, Ritch Workman, and Scott Plakon were on hand for GOP rebuttal

Kelli Stargel, Ritch Workman, and Scott Plakon were on hand for GOP rebuttal

Former State Senator Nan Rich

Former State Senator Nan Rich

Charlie Crist

Charlie Crist

The united Florida Democratic Party

The united Florida Democratic Party

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Thursday Morning Political Headlines: Crist, Rich Unity Rally Today, Batterson guilty of Bribery

Happy Thursday!

Have you recovered from primary night yet? I’m just now getting back to 100%, but I’m ready to work. Let’s go!

Today, Charlie Crist will be in town with his former primary opponent Nan Rich. The two will be headlining a Democrat Unity Rally to bring the party together after what can be competitive primaries. Crist took 76% of the vote on Tuesday night despite his affiliation to the party going back about 18 months. This will rally will propel the Crist campaign into full general election mode as he takes on his predecessor Rick Scott this November.. I hope to bring you some coverage of that this afternoon.

Also, former Orlando Orange County Expressway Authority Member Scott Batterson was found guilty of bribery yesterday. A member of the, now disbanded board could face up to 30 years in prison or no prison time at all according to a WFTV report featured here.

These stories lead your Thursday Morning Political Headlines:

Orlando Sentinel: Crist, Democrats seeking ‘unity’ to kick off campaign

WKMG Local 6: Former expressway authority member found guilty in bribery trial

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WFTV 9 Eyewitness News: Ex-Expressway Authority board member found guilty on bribery charges

CF News 13: Scott Batterson found guilty in Expressway Authority case

WOFL FOX 35: Ex-Expressway board member guilty of bribery

WESH 2: Mitt Romney’s ‘Dumb and Dumber’ scenario

WOFL FOX 35: Ex-Expressway board member guilty of bribery

FOX 35 News Orlando

Jennifer Sullivan wins Florida House 31 race

Youth Development Leader Jennifer Sullivan won the Florida House 31 race on Tuesday night, capturing 35% of the vote in the 5 way GOP open primary, defeating Health Clinic Executive Randy Glisson, Businesswoman Terri Seefeldt, Former Teacher Union Leader B. Grassel, and Fraud Investigator Joseph Stephens in what was a competitive contest, all the way down to the final hours.

In front of a farm house full of cheering supporters in Sorrento, Sullivan thanked volunteers and reflected on the victory..

“I am so grateful for you guys! I would not be here without you. This is not about me. This is not about a 23 year old running for office. This is about being a champion for freedom. This is saying that the government answers to ‘we the people’ and works for us’ and I’m going to be working for you. Guys we did it!”

Sullivan ran a campaign that was propelled by heavy volunteer support, a grassroots campaign that lacked the fundraising strength of her opponents, but compensated with heavy canvassing efforts. “Who says grassroots can’t overcome big money?” she said.

The race to replace termed out incumbent Bryan Nelson, in the district that consists of Orange and Lake counties took a negative turn in the final weeks. Sullivan poked fun at the attacks directed her way..

“I may be 23. I may still live at home. I may have never paid a mortgage. But I’m going to be your next State Representative”

I had a chance to speak with Sullivan at the event and asked her about the campaign and what’s next..

“We had an incredible ground game and that’s what really helped us with turnout. We were outspent considerably but tonight we won and that’s based on having a message, that’s based on going door to door. People voted for me, I don’t take that lightly. I know the role of government is to represent them first and foremost, and I look forward to bringing that to Tallahassee”

Jennifer Sullivan will be the next State Representative from House District 31

Jennifer Sullivan will be the next State Representative from House District 31