In Florida, the votes for Trump and his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, were never really in doubt. The slate of electors was made up of GOP stalwarts, from fundraisers to activists to elected officials.
The exit of the liberal Perry — one of five jurists who make up a liberal-leaning majority — gives Gov. Rick Scott his first opportunity to shape a bench that has repeatedly vexed the Republican chief executive and the GOP-dominated Legislature.
Democrats’ 41-member caucus faces a 79-member Republican majority in the Florida House, with 15 Democrats facing 25 Republicans in the Senate.
After losing the state’s presidential and U.S. Senate races and failing to make major gains in the Legislature, Florida Democrats are groping for a way forward as the 2018 elections loom with battles for governor and all three state Cabinet seats.
Speaking to thousands of cheering supporters at Aaron Bessant Park in Panama City Beach, Trump painted Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton as a pawn of a global establishment who would usher in the destruction of the nation.
While Clinton works Southeast Florida, her husband, former President Bill Clinton, will campaign Friday and Saturday across the top of the state, and Trump begins his visits Tuesday in solidly-Republican Melbourne.
County elections supervisors are up for pay raises, while penalties increase for trafficking in the modern version of food stamps and for stealing credit-card information at gas pumps, under new laws that go into effect Saturday.
Perry, a contractor first elected to the House in 2010, is going up against former state Sen. Rod Smith, D-Gainesville, for the open Senate District 8 seat. Smith is also a former Florida Democratic Party chairman and a former state attorney in the Gainesville area.
Perry is among five jurists who make up a liberal-leaning majority of the seven-member court, which has drawn the wrath of the Republican governor and the GOP-dominated Legislature.
The November proposal is more controversial than the one voters approved Tuesday, drawing opposition from groups such as the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy that argue the measure is intended to benefit utilities.