Saturday Morning Political Headlines: Eduardo “Eddie” Fernandez is the new Orange County Clerk of Court

Happy Saturday. Here we go!

Yesterday, Florida Governor Rick Scott appointed Eduardo “Eddie” Fernandez to be the new Orange County Clerk of Courts. Fernandez replaces Lydia Gardner who passed away last year.

In a statement the Governor had this to say..

“I am excited today to announce Eddie as the next Clerk of Courts in Orange County. Eddie’s reputation as a problem solver and respected member of the Orlando community makes him a great fit to serve the families of Orange County. I look forward to working with him as we continue making Florida the best state in the nation to live and raise a family,”

This story sweeps your Saturday Morning Political Headlines. Have a great weekend.

WESH 2: Governor appoints Eddie Fernandez as new Orange County Clerk of Courts

WKMG Local 6: Gov. Scott appoints new Orange County clerk of courts

WFTV 9 Eyewitness News: Gov. Scott appoints Eduardo Fernandez as Orange County Clerk of Courts

CF News 13: Gov. Scott appoints new Orange clerk of court

WOFL FOX 35: Gov. Rick Scott appoints Eduardo Fernandez as Orange County Clerk of Courts

Orlando Sentinel: Scott taps attorney Eddie Fernandez as Orange County’s new clerk of court

Scott has appointed Attorney Eddie Fernandez to be the next Orange County Clerk of Court

Scott has appointed Attorney Eddie Fernandez to be the next Orange County Clerk of Court

How it Played: Val Demings formally announces her OC Mayoral Bid

Yesterday afternoon, Former Orlando Police Chief Val Demings formally announced her candidacy for Orange County Mayor after months of speculation over which political path she would take next after her Congressional run came up short in 2012. This presser set up what promises to be an exciting race between Demings and incumbent Teresa Jacobs who’s indicated early on, that she doesn’t believe Demings is qualified to hold the office.

Demings actually did a mini press tour talking to a few outlets before the announcement. I’ve included those and the answers she gave to questions during those hits are more valuable than what you’ll see from the presser footage.

Let’s have a look at the what the local media had to say…

WESH 2: Val Demings makes official Orange County mayoral announcement

Video:Full interview: Val Demings running for Orange County mayor

WKMG Local 6: Val Demings kicks off campaign for Orange County mayor
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WFTV 9 Eyewitness News : Val Demings announces candidacy for Orange County Mayor’s seat

WOFL FOX 35: Exclusive: Val Demings talks politics before her rally to run for Orange County mayor

FOX 35 News Orlando

FOX 35 News Orlando

Orlando Sentinel: Demings formally kicks off Orange mayoral campaign

So, how did it Play? Pretty Well. But man, that WESH exclusive

I saw a lot of the hits as they aired after the presser and the sound was dominated by the best parts of Demings’ speech. Despite the dreary conditions, it looked great with the supporters and union reps standing behind Chief with the fountain, for the most part, still in view.

What the average voter saw during their evening newscast was fine. However, that mini-press tour did give the opposition some talking points to use against her.

Florida Democratic Party already hurt her campaign by sending out a release that she cut millions from the police department budget, when it in fact increased under her watch according to that WESH 2 one on one. FDP needs to stay out of this race. Outside parties did plenty to hurt her campaign in 2012. She also called for her handler during the hit. There are quiet signals we use for that.

She was also less than excited about MLS Soccer when she spoke to WOFL FOX 35 during that one and one. City fans aren’t going to like that.

Keep the main footage. That was good stuff. Bury the one on ones. Those will come back to haunt her

How it Played: Precourt selected as Expressway Authority Director

Yesterday, after a 3-2 vote from the Orlando-Orange County Expressway Board, State Rep. Stephen Precourt (my write-up HERE) was selected as the next Executive Director of the body that primarily manages toll money.

How did it Play?

WESH 2: Expressway Authority names State Rep. Steve Precourt new director in controversial vote “Some call his selection Unethical”.

Orlando Sentinel: Rep. Steve Precourt chosen as expressway chief Blurbs- “I searched hard and long for what I believe in. … I believe Mr. Precourt is the right person for the job,” -Noranne Downs. We were just beginning to turn the corner and this sets us back,” Teresa Jacobs said. -They said Precourt was not qualified and his appointment smacked of political favoritism. The agency’s credibility, they said, would be damaged as a result.”

WFTV 9 Eyewitness News: Expressway Authority votes to hire State Rep. Steve Precourt “Red Flags” “Conflict of interests” -Concentration on Salary

WOFL FOX 35: Fla. legislator tapped to take over Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority “Looks like it was completely orchestrated completely in the backroom and it Tallahassee”

FOX 35 News Orlando

CF News 13: Steve Precourt is Orange County Expressway Authority’s new director “It also prompted an investigation by the State Attorney’s Office on allegations the vote was pre-arranged in violation of open meeting laws.”

Saintpetersblog: Steve Precourt plays coy, Eric Eisnaugle sounds eager

Tampa Times: Precourt to resign from House, but does he dodge ethics conflict? “Rep. Stephen Precourt, R-Orlando, finally got his dream job and he didn’t have to worry about any pesky ethics law stopping him.’


How did it Play? Poorly

You couldn’t find a report that didn’t point out ethical conflicts with the selection. Mayor Jacobs saying that the agency was “taking a step back” about an organization with past problems over conflicts of interests hurt the reception. He wasn’t there to defend himself because he was in Tally and his effectiveness was questioned over lobbying laws. There was also noise over how he would personally profit from a position he wasn’t qualified for. This could have been handled much better.

I’ll once again be joining the Central Florida News 13 Political Team in 2014!

Last year, I had the opportunity to cover the 2012 elections with the great team at Central Florida News 13. We provided hours of political coverage that I sincerely believe was the best in town. We covered all the races, broke down every debate and was there every night of both party conventions. On election night, we were the last ones out, with live coverage that lasted into the early morning. It was a rewarding experience that I was very proud to be a part of.

Now, I get to do it again.

I’ll be teaming with the Orlando’s only 24hr local news network to cover what will be a very entertaining cycle and we’re only getting better. In this 2nd full cycle with the organization, I’ll do my part to make sure we’re even better this time around.

Thanks for reading and of course thanks for watching!!!

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Wednesday Morning Political Headlines: MLS Announcment Lights Up Downtown

It was a wild scene last night in Downtown Orlando.

About 1400 jammed into the Chayenne Saloon to usher in a new era for sports in region.

The Orlando City Soccer Club will become the 21st MLS franchise.

On hand last night was Florida Governor Rick Scott, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, and Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs. Among the MLS Officials were league President Don Garber, City Lions President Phil Rawlins, who was really what made this a reality, and future MLS owner of the Club Flavio De Augusta.

The Announcement ended what was a political battle that led the club all over the country, including an extensive legislative battle in Tallahassee with state lawmakers and right back down to Rosalind Ave, where the final obstacle included wrangling with Orange County Commissioners who had to green light a 94.5 million dollar venues package, that included funds for a new Soccer Stadium, a mandatory condition of MLS to grant the city a team.

This story sweeps your Wednesday Morning Political Headlines:

WESH 2: It’s official: Orlando City to become MLS team

WKMG Local 6: Orlando officially getting MLS team

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WFTV 9 Eyewitness News: Orlando City Soccer Club joins MLS

CF News 13: Orlando City joins Major League Soccer

Orlando Sentinel: Orlando MLS Soccer Franchise is proff that city has come together

WOFL FOX 35: Orlando City is newest MLS expansion team