Capital Report: 08-17-2012

Aug 17, 2012

Every election seems to have at least a few surprises. One of the shockers in Florida’s August fourteenth primary involved a veteran North Florida congressman’s defeat. Tom Flanigan reports the successful challenger in that race seemed to come from out of nowhere.

Florida has elected its first openly gay candidate to the Florida Legislature. David Richardson defeated three other Democrats during Tuesday’s Primary, and is unopposed in the general election. And, as Sascha Cordner reports, he says while he plans to advocate for gay issues, Richardson says he intends to be more than what he calls “the gay legislator.”

Six primary candidates are still waiting to find out if they’ll be the ones running for a seat in the Florida legislature. The primary races are so tight they’re heading for an automatic recount. Regan McCarthy reports the close races largely stem from a shakeup caused by redistricting earlier in the year that pitted a number of incumbents against each other.

Republicans are cheering the selection of Congressman Paul Ryan as Presumptive GOP Nominee Mitt Romney’s running mate. The move has also sparked a heated debate over the future of the nation’s Medicare program for seniors. Ryan is the architect of a budget proposal that includes those program cuts and Romney has said he supports the Ryan approach. Democrats say the Republican stance on Medicare could help President Obama in swing states. And Lynn Hatter reports the Medicare debate is already underway in the battleground state of Florida.

It’s been more than a month since the passage of the federal RESTORE Act, which will directs penalty money from the 2010 Gulf oil spill to Florida and other affected states. As Jessica Palombo reports, several Florida counties affected by the spill are trying to form a coalition with the hope that they’ll leverage more power over how to divide the money once it gets to the state.