Thursday, August 26, 2010

Precinct-by-precinct results from Tuesday's primary are available (UPDATED)

UPDATED, Aug. 27, 2010 -- In response to a note from a reader, the link to the results has been corrected.

Want to know how your precinct voted in Tuesday's primary elections?

Well, the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Office today posted 361 pages of precinct-by-precinct results that reveal exactly how the votes broke down.

For instance, reporter Tim Wolfrum discovered this nugget on Page 304 of the report:

On Election Day, Robin DiSabatino received only 4 more votes than Norm Luppino in the race for the Republican nomination for the District 4 seat on the Manatee County Commission, and one fewer than Luppino among voters who went to the polls before Tuesday.

However, Absentee voters -- who cast more than 28 percent of the ballots in the race preferred DiSabatino by an almost 5 to 3 margin, providing almost all of her 262-vote margin of victory.

Another curiosity about the commissioner race: Among early voters, only 2 votes separated Luppino from third-place finisher Tim Norwood. Luppino received 87 early votes, DiSabatino, 86, and Norwood, 85.

Read the precinct-by-precinct numbers, here.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

To runoff or to not runoff? It depends on the race

School Board candidate Julie Aranibar was the top vote-getter in Tuesday’s District 3 race, narrowly out-gaining incumbent Jane Pfeilsticker by a margin of 41.4 percent to 40.8 percent. Which means that because neither receive 50 percent plus one of the votes — a third candidate, Albert Yusko, received 17.6 percent — there will be a runoff on Nov. 2.

Republican county commission candidate Robin DiSabatino also didn’t get a majority of the votes in her District 4 race. But when she woke up this morning after a tight battle with two other candidates, she could start thinking not about a runoff against one of her GOP rivals but about a general election race against Democrat Roger C. Galle.

Why the different rules?

Bob Sweatt, Manatee’s supervisor of elections, told Bradenton Herald reporter Beth Burger this morning it’s because the school board election was a nonpartisan race — that is, the candidates did not run with an affiliation with either the Democrats or the Republicans — there has to be a runoff because neither Aranibar nor Pfeilsticker received a majority of the votes.

But under a state law adopted in 2001, partisan primaries, like the county commissionr race, are settled on election day, regardless of whether a candidate gets a majority of the votes.

“That’s just the way the law is set up,” said Sweat, citing Florida statutes - Chapter 100 for partisan races and Chapter 105 for nonpartisan elections.

In the county commission race, DiSabatino received 36.4 percent of the vote, compared to 32.8 percent for Norm Luppino; and 30.7 percent for Tim Norwood.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Buchanan, Castor among U.S. House incumbents to survive Tuesday.

An anti-incumbency fervor that many say is sweeping the country this election year did not extend to Florida and the seven incumbent U.S. House members who faced intra-party challenges in today's primary.

As of late tonight, five of the incumbents -- including U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, and U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa -- had won their respective primaries.

Buchanan and Castor cruised to easy re-nomination wins, with Buchanan receiving 83.5 percent of the vote in his GOP primary race against Don Baldauf; and Castor receiving 85.4 percent in her battle with Democratic challenger Tim Curtis.

They also start out their re-election campaigns with large fund-raising and name-recognition advantages over their respective challengers.

Manatee voter turnout low

Between apathy and rain showers, 24 percent of Manatee County voters cast ballots in Tuesday’s primary to choose gubernatorial candidates, county commissioners and school board members.

That translates to 48,843 of the 202,436 registered voters braving the rain to go to the polls, said Bob Sweat, Manatee County Supervisor of Elections.

Charles Bullock, a political science professor at the University of Georgia, said voter turnout can be hampered by rainy weather — in particular the Democratic turnout.

“That’s the problem, you have to be particularly interested. If your next door neighbor is running for school board, then you’ll stop and vote,” he said. “If you’re marginally interested, then any little thing can dissuade you.”

Read more in Wednesday's Herald.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

McCann: 'I am not bought and paid for'

His opponents have been touting endorsements from prominent groups like the Florida Chamber of Commerce and Associated Industries of Florida. But consider Florida House candidate Robert McCann unimpressed.

In response to a post Monday about recent endorsements for his Republican rivals Jeremiah Guccione and Greg Steube, and our conclusion that business favored either one of them over him, McCann sent us the following e-mail:
Your presumption and innuendo is NOT true and unfair. I have no special interest endorsements, no liberal media, and I am not bought and paid for. I do not want these endorsements if I have to change my stance on any issue. In fact, some concerned citizens have been sending emails and Facebook has quotes on these types of endorsements. Print these if you will...
McCann, Guccione and Steube are running for the GOP nomination in House District 67.

Monday, August 16, 2010

McCollum to make return visit to Bradenton

Florida gubernatorial candidate Bill McCollum will make his second appearance in Bradenton in three days when he appears before the Kiwanis Club of Bradenton on Tuesday.

McCollum, currently Florida's attorney general, is scheduled to speak during the group's meeting at 12:15 p.m. at Kiwanis Hall, 1401 21st Ave. W., Bradenton.

For more information, visiting the Kiwanis Club's website.

On Sunday, McCollum, who is in a tough GOP primary with businessman Rick Scott, campaigned outside Popi's Place restaurant a few blocks away.

Business group gives 'dual endorsement' to Guccione, Steube

Florida House candidate Jeremiah Guccione this morning sent out an e-mail touting his endorsement from the Associated Industries of Florida.

"I am very proud to have the support of AIF. As the only candidate running for District 67 who has ever created a job, met a payroll, or run a business, I will work with the Associated Industries of Florida to put Floridians back to work" Guccione said.

Well, a check of the AIF Web site reveals the group also endorsed one of Guccione's rivals for the District 67 seat, fellow Republican Greg Steube. The group labeled its action as a "dual endorsement," presumably meaning that either one is better than the third candidate in Aug. 24 GOP primary, Robert McCann.

Earlier, Steube was endorsed by another prominent business group, the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

"I am honored to have the support and endorsement of the largest business organization in the state. I look forward to working with the Florida Chamber to promote sound policy for small business growth and economic development," Steube said.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Rick Scott & BBQ in Sarasota

Rick Scott, Republican candidate for Florida governor, will be campaigning in Sarasota on Saturday.

A free BBQ event, which is open to the public, is from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. at Dolphin Aviation, 8191 N. Tamiami Trail.

Scott is slated to speak at 4 p.m.

RSVP at the Facebook event page here.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Senate hopeful Meek campaigns in Bradenton today

U.S. Senate candidate Kendrick Meek this afternoon will tour a Bradenton nursing home and speak with union workers during a stop on his "Real Dem Express" bus tour across the state.

Meek, a U.S. representative from Miami, is seeking the Democratic nomination for a seat in the U.S. Senate. His chief rival is businessman Jeff Greene.

Early voting is currently underway for the Aug. 24 primary. The winner will face presumptive Republican nominee Marco Rubio and Gov. Charlie Crist, who is running as an independent, in the Nov. 2 general election.

Meek is set to arrive at 2:45 p.m. at the Casa Mora Rehabilitation & Extended Care center, 1902 59th St. W., Bradenton, at 2:45 p.m. He will tour the center, as well as meet with local members of the United Food and Commercial Workers union.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Early voting for Aug. 24 primary starts today

Early voting for the Aug. 24 primaries started this morning in Manatee County.

Through Aug. 22, you can cast your votes early at the county supervisor of elections office, 600 301 Blvd. W., Suite #118, across from DeSoto Square mall. The hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday; and noon to 4 p.m. on Sundays.

Registered Democrats and Republicans can vote in their respective primaries, and all registered voters can cast their ballots for the Manatee County School Board and other nonpartisan positions.

A note about the three school board races on the ballot: The candidates have to live in the particular districts they are seeking to represent, but all county residents are eligible to vote in each race.

For more information, call (941) 741-3823 or visit the elections office's website.

McCann wins South Shore Republican Club straw poll

Florida House District 67 candidate Robert McCann easily bested his two GOP rivals in a straw poll over the weekend of members of the South Shore Republican Club in Hillsborough County.

McCann receive 26 votes, Jeremiah Guccione received 10 votes and Greg Steube received 8 votes, according to a news release from the SSRC president forwarded by McCann to the Bradenton Herald.

"Note that this was not a "buy a vote" straw poll. One person, one vote," the SSRC release stated.

District 67 encompasses parts of Manatee, Sarasota and Hillsborough counties.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Greater Tampa Chamber backs Steube, Boyd

Florida House candidates Greg Steube and Jim Boyd won their respective straw polls taken during the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce's Political Hob Nob last week.

For the District 67 seat,  Steube received 47.4 percent of the vote, compared to 21.9 percent for the only Democrat  in the race, Z.J. Hafeez. Steube's two rivals in the Aug. 24 Republican primary, Robert K. McCann and Jeremiah "JJ" Guccione, received 17.5 percent and 8 percent, respectively. John Studebaker, who is running with no party affiliation, received 5 percent.

In District 68, Boyd, a Republican, received 76.7 percent, and Dave "Watchdog" Miner, who is running with no party affiliation, received 23.3 percent.

The House races were the only two with particular interest to Manatee County included in the straw poll.

In the U.S. Senate race straw poll, former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio, a Republican, received 47.8 percent; Gov. Charlie Crist, running as an independent, received 33.2 percent; Democrat Kendrick Meek received 6.6 percent; and Democrat Jeff Greene received 4.4 percent.

And in the race for governor, Republican Bill McCollum received 39.7 percent, compared to 28.8 percent for Democrat Alex Sink, and 22.8 percent for Republican Rick Scott.