Frank Torres, Orlando Freelance Reporter

Posts Tagged ‘Ron Desantis’

Local Lawmakers react to Boston Marathon Explosions

In Uncategorized on April 15, 2013 at 10:53 pm

Earlier this afternoon, there were two explosions at the conclusion of the Boston Marathon. These explosions left 3 dead and dozens more injured.

The specifics and origins of the blasts are still being investigated. President Barack Obama addressed the nation a few moments ago saying “those responsible will feel the full weight of justice” and assured Americans that the Boston and Massachusetts officials will have the full resources from the government at their disposal.

Here are some of our own elected officials here in Florida reacting to the news.

Florida Governor Rick Scott sent out this tweet:

Boston marathon rick scott

Florida Senator Marco Rubio on Facebook:

Boston Marathon Marco Rubio

Congressman John Mica FL-7 on Facebook:

Boston Marathon John Mica

Congressman Ron Desantis FL-6 on Twitter:

Boston Marathon Ron Desantis

Congresswoman Corrine Brown Fl-5 on Twitter:

boston marathon corrine brown

Congressman Daniel Webster Fl-10 on Twitter:

Boston Marathon Dan Webster

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer on Facebook:

Boston Marathon Buddy Dyer

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs on Facebook:

Boston Marathon Teresa Jacobs

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam:

boston marathon Adam Putnam

Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings also advised the public to call if anything suspicious surfaces, during his press conference held earlier in the afternoon.

Boston you are in our prayers

Carroll Fallout, Grayson and Desantis make Headlines, Cortes Rolls out Endorsements- Your Daily Wrap-Up

In Uncategorized on March 14, 2013 at 11:41 pm

Busy day. Legislators are taking action after Lt. Jennifer Carroll’s resignation yesterday against Internet Cafe Companies like Allied Veterans of the World, who’s racketeering charges and connections to Carroll forced her to resign.

We’ve also got two very different Congressman making headlines for different reasons. Alan Grayson and Ron Desantis featured today.

Also in what should be an exciting 2014 race for Florida State House 30, Longwood Commissioner Bob Cortes rolls out endorsements from Orange County Commissioners Pete Clarke and Jennifer Thompson.

Video Transcript:

Florida Politics with Frank Torres. This is your Daily Wrap up for Thursday March 14th, we’ve got a lot to go over let’s get started. We start today with the fallout from the resignation of Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll. She resigned because of her ties with the company Allied Veterans of the World. What this company does is operate those internet cafes that you see in shopping centers that revolve around a large sweepstakes, which is basically gambling, alot of movement from legislators, to try to stand up legislation to stop these kinds of operations, you might remember former State Rep. Scott Plakon tried passing legislation on these cafes. They’ve been a problem in the community for sometime, you might remember a shooting at the Hunt Club location here in Central Florida. A lot of lawmakers now fighting back, we’ll see where that goes.

Also state wide, Republicans and Democrats revealing the campaign donations they’ve received from this organization. Laying all of their cards on the table some very recognizable names, from both sides accepting campaign contributions from this company, so this fall out has affected everybody over this company that was suppose to take it’s profits and give them to Veterans’ charaties and instead rerouted the money to for-profit companies, there have been over 50 arrests and this is turning into the biggest crackdown you’ll see all session. We’ll continue to monitor that situation.

In other news, a Tale of Two Central Florida Congressman, both making national headlines, let’s start with Alan Grayson, he just got his job back two months ago after being elected last November, you’ll recall Alan Grayson, not afraid to let the public know how he feels. No interests in bi-partisanship whatsoever, going off on the Paul Ryan budget proposal. We’ve got a clip.

(Alan Grayson Video Clip)

Yes, as you can see, Alan Grayson hasn’t changed any, since his first term, still trying to start conflict in a congress that already has plenty of it, we’ll see where he tries to go with this, these insults aren’t going to get us anywhere, as far as this gridlock goes.

On the other hand you’ve got Congressman Ron Desantis, trying to sponsor legislation that would freeze a part of Congress’ pay, a Bi-partisan deal, with a Representative from California, we’ve also got a clip from him, let’s check it out.

(Ron Desantis Clip)

Desantis making some waves early on, in his time in Washington. That is Bi-Partisanship legislation, the kind where you could walk up to a man on the street and ask him about and he would probably agree with it. If you go to work and don’t get anything done, you don’t get paid for it, I think Congress should be the same way. Will it work? Probably not, you know how our friends in Congress are.

Next up, the future race for Florida State House 30 Bob Cortes who would be running against incumbent Karen Castor Dentel announcing two endorsements from Orange County Commissioners both Pete Clarke, who was elected last November and Commissioner Jennifer Thompson. These endorsements give confidence to donors, that allow campaigns to stand up and get moving in a hurry. You look at the layout in the district in that race and it’s going to be an exciting race, we’ll keep you posted.

A lot going on in Florida Politics with the crackdown of that company, Congress making national headlines and candidates gearing up for 2014. It’s an exciting time. I’m Frank Torres, and I’ll see you next time.

Orlando Political Yearbook 2013 – Congressman Ron Desantis

In Uncategorized on January 10, 2013 at 3:32 pm

Desantis has only been Congressman for two weeks, and has already made some votes that have got the politicos here in Florida talking. We’ll see what else the Freshman House Rep. has in store for us this year.

Video Transcript:

Florida Politics with Frank Torres. This is your 2013 Political Yearbook profile on Congressman Ron Desantis. As you’ll recall Desantis won his first term in 2012, coming out of a big GOP primary, won easily in red Volusia county against Heather Beaven in the general. High expectations for this Freshman lawmaker, the only authentic Freshman from the region, and he wasted no time making his mark, voting against Superstorm Sandy aid from the disaster from late last year. Not as cold hearted as it sounds, there was some strategy involved, him trying to establish his reputation as a fiscal hawk, still a controversial vote nonetheless. Depending on what else we see from him in the future, that will establish his real reputation in Washington.

That will be one of his goals for 2013, to really get involved for Volusia County in Washington, there is only so much a Freshman can do in that kind of gridlock environment, but we’ll see what this sharp Congressman from Volusia county can do. So, his goals will be to try to serve constituents while adjusting to the D.C political climate as fast as possible. So, basically the same agenda as every other Freshman in D.C. This is your political yearbook for Ron Desantis. I’m Frank Torres, I’ll see you next time.

Already making noise in D.C, What is next for Desantis?

Already making noise in D.C, What is next for Desantis?

WIR: Fiscal Cliff, Florida Freshman in Politico, Hurricane Sandy Votes

In Uncategorized on January 6, 2013 at 9:51 pm

This is your first “Week in Review” webcast of 2013. Today, we’re talking about Florida lawmakers and their votes on the fiscal cliff and Hurricane Sandy aid. We’ve also got some Florida Freshman lawmakers being featured in politico and we’ve already got 2014 Florida house battle for the heart of Seminole County.

All of this and more in your Week in Review.

Video Transcript:

Florida Politics with Frank Torres. The first Week in Review of 2013, Welcome Back, I hope you had plenty of time to spend with your loved ones. Let’s get right to it with the beginning of the week with the fiscal cliff. Vice-President Joe Biden cutting a deal with Senate minority leader Mitch McConnel. Biden moving in on New Year’s eve, cutting a deal that would let the bush era tax cuts expire on those making 450,000 or 400,000 (depending on your classification, it also put a two month delay on sequestration, the deal ultimately went through the Senate where Marco Rubio voted against it (Bill Nelson for it) then on to the House of Representative where every Florida Congressperson voted against it, except Corrine Brown, the lone Democrat in the region. Why was this bill so unpopular with Republicans, basically President Obama got everything he wanted. He was able to let the majority of the tax cuts expire on those making the most and he didn’t have to give up that much as far as cuts. We move on to the next fiscal showdown and once again it will be about debt ceiling. Will we see more cuts then? The President vowed to work the deficit from both ends, with revenue increases and tax cuts. We’ve got a new Congress, what does that mean for these talks? That’s what kicked off the week.

Speaking of a new congress. We had several new members of Congress heading to Washington, some old faces and some were highlighted by POLITICO. One of those faces, the one closest to home was Alan Grayson, he’s either your biggest anti-hero or villain depending on where you stand, he was highlighted by politico in that Freshman year book, labeled as one of the most cable friendly members. You know he’s no stranger to that, he was doing it during his entire time out of office after losing to Daniel Webster in 2010. The other two Congressman being featured in that piece was Ted Yoho, who pulled off that upset over Cliff Stearns on primary night. That pigs article got him noticed, let’s take a look at that ad now.


Yeah, so that ad worked very well not only during the election but with the national media as well. We’ll come back to him later he plays a role in one of the next topics we’ll be talking about. Also, you had Patrick Murphy from down south, the young Democrat was able to beat Allen West. West was the most televised Representative on cable tv in 2011, you wonder if he’ll do what Grayson did after being defeated and maintain a presence there. 3 lawmakers for one politico piece. Florida really making it’s mark in national politics.

Moving on to local politics, It was announced that Scott Plakon would take on Mike Clelland in a Florida House race in 2014. Of course, Plakon in that intense race against Karen Castor Dentel, Clelland beating Chris Dorworth who had that avalanche of negative media coverage, and Clelland was only barely able to beat him then. That’s how red the county was so, Plakon has the advantage in that match-up. He should win but a lot of space between now and 2014. So, Plakon jumping right back into things in a friendlier environment. After his loss last November. FDP already sent out an attack on Plakon in the form of an email blast, so we’ll see how that goes. It’s never too early to start declaring.

Moving back up to the congressional level. After the fiscal cliff was resolved attention then turned to Hurricane Sandy. Speaker of House John Boehner came under a lot of criticism from Republicans for delaying that vote. The vote ultimately did come forward and it did pass and every Representative in Florida voted in favor of sending that aid to the Northeast, thousands without homes, all of our representatives voting for it, except two. One of Ron Desantis from Volusia County and the other was Ted Yoho, the one just mentioned. Those two voting against it. Now there were claims of pork in the legislation, they were’nt the only two that said that but you would expect some more empathy from two lawmakers that hail from the hurricane capital of the world. There might be some strategy involved, this was going to pass with or without their votes. It was obvious, perhaps Desantis and Yoho were trying to establish themselves as fiscal hawks. The kind of lawmakers their constituents wanted them to be.

Very interesting week. We’re off to a fast start in 2013. We’ve got a lot happening. We’ve got that showdown over the debt ceiling in a couple of weeks, a lot going on at the county level. A lot of county level lawmakers taking office this week. 2013 is really going to be about the setting up 2014. The events and circumstances setting up the mid-term elections, so for Florida Politics with Frank Torres…

How did your lawmaker vote on the fiscal cliff?

How did your lawmaker vote on the fiscal cliff?

Cruel or Conservative? Yoho, Desantis blur edges, vote against Sandy Aid

In Uncategorized on January 5, 2013 at 2:57 am

Is it refusing to help Americans during a difficult time when needed the most?

Or is it turning back pork loaded assistance when the country is in a deep deficit?

You could see it either way really, and two of Florida’s newest additions to Congress are at the center of a controversial vote, just hours after they were sworn in, Representatives Ted Yoho, and Ron Desantis voted “No” on Hurricane Sandy aid, when fellow Republicans from the disaster stricken area criticized House Speaker John Boehner for putting off the vote.

The rest of the Florida Congressional delegation, both Republicans and Democrats voted “yes” on the measure that would deliver much need financial aid to the northeast that saw a hurricane swirl into winter conditions to hammer the north east last year.

Here are the explanations given by both Freshman Congressman to the Tampa Bay Times regarding their controversial votes.

Congressman Desantis said “I sympathize with the victims of Hurricane Sandy and believe that those who purchased flood insurance should have their claims paid. At the same time, allowing the program to increase its debt by another $9.7 billion with no plan to offset the spending with cuts elsewhere is not fiscally responsible,”

Yoho took a more assertive stance. “Congress should not authorize billions in new borrowing without offsetting expenditures in other areas. If a family maxes out its credit cards and faces the need for new spending, it is forced to prioritize by reducing its spending in other areas. Here, Congress has failed even to attempt to identify reductions in nonessential spending.”

Both lawmakers are correct in their claims that the government has gone easy on spending cuts. The deal that averted the fiscal cliff had no hard spending cuts. With another showdown over the debt ceiling that will certainly weigh on the mind of many fiscally concerned Americans.

On the other side, the rest of the Florida delegation voted in favor of the aid. Here in Florida, the hurricane capital of the world, more empathy would be expected from lawmakers that call the Sunshine State home.

As always, there is strategy involved. Could Yoho and Desantis, both Tea Party favorites examined the outcome of the vote and sandbagged their decisions? Possibly. The measure easily passed and both lawmakers began their freshman terms as fiscal hawks that won’t hesitate to bring the hammer down on any spending, regardless of the nature or urgency of the funds dispersed.

There is also the “Tag Team” angle. Are we going to see Yoho and Desantis on the same page with other legislation? We’ll see..

Yoho and Desantis voted no on Sandy aid. Conservative or cruel?

Yoho and Desantis voted no on Sandy aid. Conservative or cruel?

New Florida arrivals in Congress already in the Spotlight

In Uncategorized on January 4, 2013 at 1:03 am

You might have been caught up in the fiscal cliff buzz in Washington over the last couple of days, but Thursday morning the new Congress was sworn in.

A lot of our regulars are back. Most of them were voting on the deal that made our fall from the cliff, a short one.

Still, some of our new arrivals were highlighted by Politico. We’re familiar with their names, they’ve been slugging it out to get elected for over a year. But, on the national scene, they’re all newbies (except one who spends more time on television than in his office). Let’s break down who the rest of the country was introduced to in this article.

Alan Grayson: The biggest villain/anti-hero (depending on which side your on) from the 10th district, was able to return to Washington this year after being defeated in 2010, by current House Rep Daniel Webster (who ironically, will be serving with him in the neighboring district). Grayson needs no introduction to the Central Florida electorate but for those who forgot about his “Die Quickly” quote, and nasty remarks about female lobbyists,will be quickly reminded. In a congress that was even more divided than the one he was voted out of, will the most violently partisan lawmaker in Washington be able to accomplish anything? BTW, he was in the “Most likely to be a cable favorite” category.

Patrick Murphy
: In the “just happy to be here cateory” we’ve got the youngster who knocked off another cable TV fave, Allen West, down south. Murphy followed the Colonel to a new drawn district and won by a microscopic margin. The Congressman is younger than I am, and will have to make an impression to make his stay in Washington, longer than his controversial predecessor. If he won by a recount with Obama on the ballot, re-election will be even more difficult with a mid-term turnout.

Ted Yoho: You guys might have forgotten about Yoho since primary night back in August. He knocked off long-time establishment favorite Cliff Stearns in an upset that made national headlines. The Tea Party favorite rides into the nation’s capitol, hours after a fiscal cliff deal that offered no real budget cuts. He found fame with this “Politicians in the mud” television ad.

Not Mentioned- Ron Desantis: With three entries from Florida, it’s understandable why POLITICO overlooked Desantis. The Navy Vet won a 6 person “Battle Royal” primary in the 6th district, out in Volusia and is getting a lot of positive buzz from his constituents. Yeah didn’t get the positive “pub” this time but, you’ll hear about the newly elected representative soon enough.

The Freshman Desantis will be representing Volusia during tough times in Washington

The Freshman Desantis will be representing Volusia during tough times in Washington

WIR: Kicking Grover Norquist to the Curb, DCCC Silliness, Scott’s Charm Offensive

In Uncategorized on December 3, 2012 at 1:48 am

Here is your week in review. We’re talking Grover, DCCC, and Rick Scott’s re-election headstart.

Enjoy and have a great day!


(Jeb Bush Intro)

That of course is former Florida Governor Jeb Bush talking about the Grover Norquist Tax Pledge, and that is where we’re starting our week in review. We are talking about the need for Florida Republicans to walk away from Grover Norquist. Frankly, a person who is not an elected official has no business telling our lawmakers what to do and someone 99% of the constituents don’t even know who he is. His anti-tax pledge has handcufffed our lawmakers from putting on a strong fiscal debate in Washington, I’m talking about our Central Florida delegation here, I’m talking about John Mica, Daniel Webster, Sandy Adams is on her way out be she should opt out as well. Incoming lawmakers like Ron Desantis and other Republican lawmakers who will be taking office next year. Norquist, who’s talking points hurt us in the elections this year. Frankly, he has no business telling out elected officials what to do. So, we’ll see what happens. There is a growing group of Republicans in Washington that are starting to feel the same way. There was a good question on the Sunday talkers, this morning “Who is this guy!?” It’s a valid question, it made me laugh and hopefully this anti-grover norquist trend will continue.

Here in the county, with the commission, some good news coming out, the possibility of moving the tax collector and property appraisers offices out of the Suntrust building. Moving the offices out of that expensive location into a county owned office that could save the taxpayers millions of dollars. I think it’s a terrific move by the commission, they can use the points, their still recovering from the PR disaster from the Orange County Sick Time Fight. We’re still hearing more bad press about text messages not being available to the media. Hey, you can’t go wrong saving the taxpayers money it’s a win, win, we’ll see how it goes, if it happens, now would be a terrific time to also bring up that rental car surcharge that Commissioner Ted Edwards was talking about. In another move that could be very profitable for the people of Central Florida.

On to the next subject, a sour grapes subject, out of no where, an attack email on Daniel Webster, of course Daniel Webster recently re-elected after defeating Val Demings in November out of no where an attack email from the DCCC criticizing Daniel Webster fro his potential ties with Grover Norquist, pressuring him to leave the anti-tax pledge, in that regard, now of course I just got done slamming Grover Norquist for the last two minutes, it would certainly make me happy, but lets examine what this really is. It’s an attack email 3 weeks after an election, from a 3rd party that frankly, hurt Val Demings in her election. I don’t know if this is going to be a trend, are we going to see more emails from the DCCC. I believe their message in the Val Demings campaign took over shortly after she declared, that was never truly her in that campaign, launching a negative attack campaign against Daniel Webster, someone who’s vowed never to personally sign off on a negative ad, going negative on him with the “Lobbyist Lounge” ad, as you’ll recall, those slick ads with the graphics that said he was cozy with lobbyists, it of course had video footage of Webster, not next a lobbyist but next to his son on a fishing trip. and the fact checkers took that ad apart. You’ve got to wonder what’s going on with leadership up there, are they trying to justify payroll, apparently they still want to attack Daniel Webster 3 weeks after the election with a very bizarre message.

Let’s move on to Florida Governor Rick Scott. Scott with another media sprint through Orlando, talking to as much of the media as possible. This is sorta of a revival of the “charm offensive”. I remember around this time last year during Presidency V, made himself completely available to writers, reporters, bloggers (including myself) and experienced a bump in his approval numbers afterwards. And he’s done a couple of times since, every couple of months to help his suffering approval numbers and the strategy behind that is Governor Scott needs a headstart to, in order to be competitive for re-election. He is definitely not favored against potential candidates, Nan Rich, Alex Sink, and former Governor Charlie Crist. What will Charlie do? When will he join the Democratic party and try to get his job back. Along with some popular Mayors like (Bob) Buckhorn and our own Mayor Dyer. Those rumored to be considering run. Scott has been doing well with fundraising. He doesn’t want to spend so much of his own money to get elected. So, Rick Scott has already unofficially started his re-election campaign. This is the first sprint after the Presidential election. So we’ve covered a lot for Florida Politics with Frank Torres I’ll see you ne–.

It’s time for Florida Republicans to walk away from Grover Norquist.

In Uncategorized on November 26, 2012 at 2:34 pm

The pledge was presented to me three times. I never signed the pledge,” he said. “I cut taxes every year I was governor. I don’t believe you outsource your principles and convictions to people – Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush

Senator John McCain
Senator Lindsay Graham…from South Carolina

They all agree.

It’s time to walk away from Grover Norquist and his pledges. The lobbyist has become an unnecessary “middle-man” between our lawmakers and their constituents. His anti-tax pledge sounds good to the average bystander, but has essentially “handcuffed” our elected officials to a one weapon economic arsenal.

Cut, cut, cut.

“What if a national disaster hit your district? Hit your state? What if you needed to revenue to ensure the safety of your constituents? Would you implement a temporary, revenue increase for aid?”

“No, Grover says I can’t” – said the former Republican lawmaker that lost in November.

For you political gamers out there, Grover hurts Republicans. He’s the weatherman that set the forecast for the President being elected and Conservatives failing to make any gains in the Senate. How? His insensitivity to the needs of all Americans tainted every candidate’s economic message who wasn’t running in a dark red district.

Let’s be clear. Dissing the pledge can’t be an excuse to go on a spending spree. There still is a deficit and while some bend in Washington could help Republicans rebound from last November, a blank check will cause a panic on Wall St. and plunge us into a second recession which we would set us farther back from recovery.

There will also be political opportunists. Those pondering a run for office that somehow believe challenging an incumbent in a primary and softening them up for a Democratic challenger helps. Those candidates will be out there, but here in Central Florida, we see right through those candidates.

It needs to start here in Florida. Mica, Webster, Posey, even the freshman DeSantis. If you’ve met the first 3, you know they’re plenty savvy enough to communicate to their voters that they don’t need a super-lobbyist to serve, they need the ideas and the opinions of the voters that sent them up to Washington to vote for THEM. DeSantis would be taking a risk, but if he folded and signed, the majority of the Central Florida Congressional Delegation, along with Jeb would send a strong message to the rest of the country.

Floridians, not a pledge from someone 99% of us haven’t heard of, are in charge of it’s future and we won’t have it any other way.

This man shouldn’t be telling our lawmakers what their economic principles are.

WIR: Florida Elections Wrap-Up

In Uncategorized on November 12, 2012 at 2:16 am

After a few days to soak it all in, I’m back. Here is your Central Florida Elections Wrap-Up. Going to play it by ear over the next couple of days before jumping back into regular posting. See you soon!


Florida Politics with Frank Torres. This is your week in review and what a week it was, the country re-elected President Barack Obama to second term on Tuesday night and it was not even close. The President took the majority of the swing states, including Florida, you know us down here, it takes us a little longer to tabulate those votes, but we finally got the job done on Saturday, Florida fell Barack Obama’s way. How did the President do it? I’ve been capitalizing on turnout. The President was able to activate his voter base from 2008, we’re talking about voters that voted for him the first time and we’re likely to vote for him again, we’re talking about we’re talking about younger voters, African-American voters, Hispanic Voters. The Hispanic was going to be key this year, especially here in Florida but it was one sided. The majority of Hispanic voters choosing to vote for President Obama. The President was able to get his voters to the polls, in addition to capture the independent vote. That was the key to President Obama’s victory as well as the candidates further down the ballot who rode on his coattails, that was a big buzz phrase, that was certainly the case in Florida where we saw several no-name candidates beat incumbents, because of their party affiliations, when voters didn’t recognize the candidate, they voted for the DEM next to their name. They took their Obama voter guides which tell the voters which way to go on each race and they voted in that way, and it resulted in massive Democratic gains, especially here on the state level. Those were the keys to President Obama’s victory, activating his voter base and winning the independent, minority and Hispanic votes.

Mitt Romney what can you say? He lost. There were mistakes along the way, I thought his campaign made some bad decisions, there was this feeling that his campaign was in the doldrums for about a good 30 day period, it was around the %47 percent tape release, and there was a lack of energy from the Romney campaign from about September to October, shortly after Paul Ryan was announced, I think that the Mitt Romney campaign lost a lot of energy, and they never got it back until that first debate, the first debate gave the Romney campaign some life, closed the gap in the polls, and made this a race but Romney had to do that himself. His campaign management certainly didn’t do him any favors. History will come and look at Romney, I don’t think history will judge Romney favorably, I think when it came down to who Republican thought could take on the President, it was done over by they though who would win. And they thought that was Mitt Romney. And Romney certainly was the most qualified, I thought he was the best candidate to take on the President from that group of Republicans, certainly 2016 will be a lot more competitive, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, New Mexico Governor Susanna Martinez, the list goes on and on and on, so Republicans have a very deep bench to take on whoever wins that Hilary Clinton, Joe Biden Fist Fight, among others, so a very deep Republican bench, so if there is any solace Republicans can have, it’s that they have a very wide pool of political talent that will almost certainly be better than Mitt Romney, going back to Mitt Romney, his campaign made it’s share of errors, but I don’t think Romney had the passion to capture the Independent vote as well as some other groups, I believe that was his downfall. A fine candidate, he just didn’t make the case to take the election his way.

As far as the other races here in Florida, you had the Florida Senate race, Bill Nelson easily beating Connie Mack IV while I can say Mitt Romney was a good candidate for Barack Obama, I’m not certain I could say that about Connie Mack, it was a very bizarre campaign from Connie Mack, just seems like he didn’t want to be there at times, almost like he didn’t have the conviction to run strong against Bill Nelson, it was like he was an unwilling draftee in the process, Republicans had a lackluster field in the Senate race, which led to Connie Mack jumping into the race, but when you look at the one debate he had against Bill Nelson, the energy and presence of his campaign, right here in Orlando, the heart of the I4 corridor, it was lacking, I don’t think Connie Mack was up to the task of taking on Bill Nelson, Bill Nelson won that race, he will return to Washington but hey, Republicans can say the have Marco Rubio, who given his future is almost as good as two senators, they can take some solace in that but Bill Nelson easily beating Connie Mack.

As are as House Races. Democrats had large gains in some of the state level races, even down towards the county level, the Central Florida delegation did pretty well. Congressional District 10, Daniel Webster vs. Val Demings, Daniel Webster able to pull out that victory. What was the key to his victory, obviously his district, his district leans Republican, Daniel Webster has one of the best ground games you can have in Central Florida Politics, seas of Dark Blue and White, walkers everywhere, large grassroots campaign, keep in mind throughout the election process, Webster was constantly getting criticized for his lack of fundraising power. And he didn’t have that fundraising power in 2010 and he didn’t have it again this year. But he does it the old fashion way, he does it with a good old fashion grassroots movement, and an overall positive message. What’s next for Val Demings? She’s a good candidate, I think she needs a little more work on her policy, she needs to learn more about the nation’s issues, I felt she was particularly weak in that area. I also think this was the wrong district to run in, I remember when she declared, that day, I remembered thinking, maybe she should have gone after a State Senate Seat, maybe she should have gone after a State House Seat, she ran well, I think behind that lack of policy knowledge she did fine. I think there was too much outside influence on that campaign, the DCC really went to negative on Daniel Webster, there negative ads were all over the place, I think there were too many chefs in that kitchen, I think it hurt her, also the 3rd party help from Mayor Mike Bloomberg, the 2 million dollars the New York Mayor poured into this race during Hurricane Sandy, those radio ads saturated the air waves, I think those ads in addition to the ones from the 3rd party made her go too negative against a candidate that didn’t believe in going negative. I think that hurt her but she is going to run again. Something on the municipal level would be good for her, and the rumors have already started on what she’ll run for next. but Val Demings a candidate with a great background and a good story to tell.

Congressional District 9. Alan Grayson will be going back to Washington. My condolences to the voters of the 9th district. Alan Grayson, one of the most violently partisan lawmakers out there. Doesn’t believe in being civil to his opponents across the isle, I remember him explaining once, that if he asked his the lawmakers on the otherside of the isle with politeness and civility, he would be rejected politely and with civility, so he’s abandoned any hopes of bi-partisanship whatsoever, of course he’ll try to bring up that Ron Paul “chip” that took place about 4 years ago, I’m sure it included a coffee or something like that but this is not a bi-partisan politician. He is going to be safe in that district a heavy Democratic district, which ultimately hurt Todd Long, his Republican opponent. The layout of that district, they weren’t going to vote for a Republican, also keep in mind Grayson poured his own money into the Republican primary to attack John “Q” Quinones, who was a much better match-up for him, so Grayson once again using his financial advantage to change the tone of the race. He ultimately found victory again, it will be interesting to see how he behaves in Washington, he’s done plenty of memorable things during his first term, the “Republicans want you to die” phrase from the healthcare debates, the K-Street you know what about a lobbyist in Washington, we were raised not to call girls that, but Grayson did it anyways, the Taliban Dan ad, which ultimately costed him his race. It will interesting to see what he does next.

Interesting note, you’ve got Daniel Webster who defeated Alan Grayson in 2010 and will now be serving with him in neighboring districts. There aren’t many more odd couples than that. I’m sure there will be no bad blood there.

Congressional District 7 John Mica rolling to an easy win over Jason H. Kendall as expected. He’s going back to Washington.

Congressional District 6, Ron Desantis, Republican beating Democrat Heather Beaven, the Republican party in Volusia is strong and I think Desantis is going to do good things in Washington, a rising star on capitol hill perhaps, we’ll see how that works.

Breaking down the State House races, remember those Obama coattails, I’ve told you about and that you’ve probably been hearing about on other shows, no more was that evident than during these state house races, Karen Castor Dentel is going to Tallahassee, also victories from Linda Stewart the former Orange County Commissioner, and the activist Joe Saunders so, a 3 seat turnover you can say in the Florida House, that all benefited from the President being on the ballot, and turning out the Democratic vote, all three of those candidates were elected they’ll be going to Tallahassee, in what I believe Democrats will be saying as the start of turning over the Republican majority in Tally, expect this campaign to carry over to 2014, when the Governor himself is on the ballot, I think Democrats believe they can switch the majority in the House and the Senate.

Another interesting race, Chris Dorworth versus Mike Clelland, in State House 29, Mike Clelland coming out on top. Dorworth doing everything but conceding defeat, already sending out a good-bye letter to the press and his colleagues, you know the supposed future Speaker of the House came under a lot of media fire, throughout the course of this campaign, and Dorworth’s biggest point was, he keeps getting re-elected, he keeps getting re-elected, his the candidate for his people. The voters in his district, that was always the biggest argument in his favor, ultimately when he lost his race, he lost that arguement, so it will be interesting to see what the Republicans in Tallahassee do. Who will the new House Speaker be? Also Clelland who was abandoned sometime back, was able to win this race, Chris Dorworth was the favorite heading into November and what very few times you got to see those two together on TV, I only saw them once, Dorworth actually performed better than Clelland on Television, so the bad press, and President Obama being on the ballot were ultimately too much for Chris Dorworth to overcome. And he is most likely defeated barring a miraculous recount.

In the county races, for Orange County Sheriff, Jerry Demings defeating his old foe, John Tegg, that was a very heated race, a lot of accusations being thrown around, Jerry Demings won, so one of the Deming won a silver lining for their night, Orange County Tax Collector, Scott Randolph defeating Jim Huckeba, by way of Earl K. Wood. That name recognition was very difficult to overcome, it will be interesting to see how Randolph runs that office. How political he is going to get with it? what it means for his other political goals? In the Orange County Property Appraisers race Democrat Rick Singh defeating incumbent Bill Donegan.

So, there you have it. What an election cycle it was. More Media, more advertising, a longer extended election season environment, you saw the ads starting earlier, the negative attacks starting earlier, for 2014, how is early is it going to start then? for 2016? Are going to start seeing these negative attacks earlier and earlier, Are we going to get that October environment in June? In May? Who knows? But it is only going to get bigger, a billion dollars spent be each Presidential candidate, for this election will it be 2 billion (each) for 2016. Who knows? So, a very busy and active election cycle, I was privileged to be a part of it. Not every race went the way I would have liked to have seen them go. But that’s how it is. You make your case to the voters and let them decide, A very busy election season. I woke up the next day afterwards and it was a completely different environment in Orlando. No TV ads, no attack ads.

It was nice.

We’ll see how long it is before people start declaring for 2014 or 2016. So, there you have it, your 2012 election season wrap-up, I was proud to be able to do these previews for you and lead you along the way, and we’ll continue to cover Florida Politics, together, we’ll go through this journey together, and move along to the next stage of the process, I’ll be taking a couple of days off after this review, to re-charge my batteries, for the next round politics, probably (legislative) session. So, for Florida Politics with Frank Torres, I’ll see you next time.

Ron Desantis defeats Heather Beaven in Congressional District 6 Race

In Uncategorized on November 7, 2012 at 3:52 am

Republican Ron Desantis has defeated Democrat Heather Beaven in Florida’s 6th Congressional District.

Instant Analysis:

Desantis emerged from a “Battle Royal” of a primary against half a dozen other candidates to become the favorite to win in the Republican leaning district. The GOP in the region coalesced around the Navy Vet to deliver him an easy victory and his strong debate performance reinforced his policy knowledge to the independents. Beaven is a good candidate for the Democrats but she’s picked the wrong district for the second straight election cycle. She lost to Mica in 2010 in the old 7th Congressional.

Two Vets running for Congress? Well done Florida 6