Florida Five: Fla. Dems want to change election law, Hactivist Anonymous shuts down city’s website

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

Florida Democrats want to change an election law they created to help them win again – In 1960, when Richard Nixon carried Florida’s 10 electoral votes, an unknown Republican gubernatorial candidate named George Petersen won just over 40 percent of the vote against Democrat Farris Bryant. Democrats who controlled the state legislature were worried that holding their gubernatorial elections in presidential years, when more Republican voters showed up at the polls, threatened their solid grip on state politics. So a group of rural segregationist Democrats called a special statewide election to change the year in which Florida elected its governors. Voters approved the change, shifting gubernatorial elections to midterm years, rather than presidential years. Fast forward half a century, and the political calculus has changed. Read more

Anonymous
Photo Credit Conservativebyte.com/

Online hacker group Anonymous leads to Fort Lauderdale’s website being shut down – The online hacking group Anonymous made threats to the city of Fort Lauderdale, resulting in the city taking down its website this afternoon. By 6:18 p.m., the city’s website was back up. The FBI is responding to inquiries from Fort Lauderdale officials regarding the hacking threat. Anonymous made the threats related to the city’s controversial laws about feeding the homeless outdoors. “Fellow citizens of the world and Fort Lauderdale,” says the computer generated voice in the video. “We are anonymous. It has come to our attention that Mayor John P. Seiler has become an embarrassment to the good law-abiding citizens of the city of Fort Lauderdale and arresting Arnold Abbott who is 90 and served our country for feeding the homeless…” Read more

RPOF Chair Debate’ set for Friday as race for party leadership becoming a spirited contest – The midterm elections may be over, but the race for leadership of the Republican Party of Florida is just heating up among a thickening field of candidates. And despite some high-powered endorsements, the sitting chairman faces a battle in her bid to stay in command of the party. The interest and anticipation make for a perfect setting for a debate scheduled later this week among announced candidates. Read more

Rick Scott to celebrate inauguration with Jobs Jamboree in Tampa on Wednesday – Gov. Rick Scott is putting a unique twist on celebrating his upcoming inauguration. Scott will be sworn in on January 6 and is ringing in his second term with a series of barbeques across the state. Scott will stop in Tampa Wednesday for one of his Inauguration Jobs Jamboree. Most of the events in places like Miami, Jacksonville, Lake Mary, Naples and Pensacola are sponsored by businesses. The Tampa event at USAA on Commerce Park Boulevard in Tampa is hosted by the Republican Party of Florida. Scott’s first Jamboree was at Miami International Airport Monday night. The barbeques replace more traditional celebrations like an inaugural ball or a parade. The jobs focus echoes Scott’s dominant message on the campaign trail in which he hailed himself as the jobs governor. Read more

10 qualify on 1st day for Fla. Senate, House races – With a deadline at noon Tuesday to get on the ballot, 10 candidates qualified Monday for a special Senate election and two special House elections in Northeast Florida. The special elections stem from former Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, resigning from his Senate District 6 seat last month to become president of Florida State University. The qualifying period for the elections started Monday morning. State Rep. Travis Hutson, R-Elkton, state Rep. Ronald “Doc” Renuart, R-Ponte Vedra Beach and Daytona Beach Democrat David Cox qualified to run in Senate District 6, according to the state Division of Elections website. Read more

Bonus — controversy brewing: Defiant GOP official won’t be bullied into stepping down for calling Ferguson rioters ‘thugs’

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

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