Florida Five: Holder to monitor Fla. elections, Election night party locations

Five of today’s top Florida political stories at your fingertips:

Jindal Perry Scott
Photo credit: RickScottforFlorida.com

Clinton, Christie, Jindal, Perry join the fray in Florida gov race – With the Florida gubernatorial race in a dead heat heading into Election Day, both candidates brought out the star power for the final push. Former Republican governor Charlie Crist, now running for his old position as a Democrat, made several weekend appearances with Vice President Biden before a Monday night event with former president Bill Clinton. Speaking to a crowd of students at the University of Central Florida, Clinton praised Crist for guiding Florida through the worst of the global financial crisis and said Crist has the best approach to continuing that work. “He didn’t cause it, he couldn’t stop it, but he sure did the right thing after it happened,” Clinton said. … Scott countered by campaigning with just about every 2016 GOP presidential contender, including former Florida governor Jeb Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. They each spoke of Scott’s ability to recruit high-employment businesses to the state, and contrasted that with what they called Crist’s inability to maintain that momentum. They also repeatedly referenced Crist’s switch from Republican to Independent to Democrat. Read more

Holder, Justice Department to monitor Florida elections – Gov. Rick Scott’s office and campaign are attacking as “blatantly political” a letter from U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announcing that the Justice Department is monitoring changes to Florida’s election laws. Holder wrote to Scott on July 21 expressing concerns about elections laws and procedures that “have restricted voter participation and limited access.” Holder added he was “deeply disturbed” at the “barriers to voting” that have been added during Scott’s tenure and urged the governor to “re-evaluate laws and procedures that make it harder for citizens to register and to vote. John Tupps, a spokesman for Scott, said in an email that “this is a blatantly political letter.” Read more

Scott, Crist go all-out for final chance to woo voters – In the last few hours of a bitter battle for the governor’s mansion, Republican Gov. Rick Scott and Democrat Charlie Crist made their final pitches to Floridians on Monday, encouraging voters across the state to get out and vote when the polls open Tuesday. The two men spent the final day of the 2014 gubernatorial campaign barnstorming — and getting a boost from big name backers along the way. Scott concentrated on the coveted I-4 corridor, going from Pinellas to Orange counties. Crist, the state’s former Republican governor, spent his day campaigning from Miami to Orlando. Read more

Pam Bondi defends her fight against the feds at an Ybor City rally – Appearing at the Columbia Restaurant, a bevy of Hillsborough County Republicans, most but not all on the ballot (including state Senators Jeff Brandes and Tom Lee, as well as former Governor Bob Martinez), stood behind Bondi and Bush as the the pair made their case for the GOP brand — not just in Florida, but in Bush’s case across the nation as well, as the former governor urged Floridians to contact their friends in battleground states to vote Republican and throw Harry Reid out of his Senate Majority position. Bondi kicked it off by first making the case for Rick Scott, then segued into highlighting her work as AG in eliminating pill mills and combating human sex trafficking. Regarding the prescription drug abuse problem that plagued Florida several years ago, Bondi said the state’s work on the issue has attracted national attention, and even garnered a rare compliment from the White House’s drug czar (Gil Kerlikowske), who told her that Florida is being viewed across the nation as a leader on the war on prescription drugs. Read more

Florida: Mega checks, super donors led to costliest mid-term election in the nation – It’s now official: This year’s state elections are the costliest in Florida history, and the nation’s most expensive. Republican and Democratic candidates for statewide and legislative offices and their political parties in the 2014 election cycle raised a staggering $345 million, according to a preliminary analysis by the Herald/Times and the Washington-based Center for Responsive Politics. Campaign finance reports filed with the Florida Division of Elections by Friday’s deadline show that huge contributions from out-of-state mega donors helped to make 2014 the most expensive Florida governor’s race on record. The Center For Responsive Politics has concluded that, as a result, Florida has the most expensive mid-term election in the nation. Read more

BONUS:

Party time! Where Palm Beach County candidates will be on Election Night

It’s not the party … it’s the after party! A rundown of where state candidates will be on Election Night

For more Florida political news, visit BPR’s FLORIDA NEWS page

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