Diane Rado

Diane Rado

Diane Rado has covered state and local government and public schools in six states over some 30 years, focusing on policy and investigative stories as well as legislative and political reporting. She is married to a journalist and has three adult children.

FL Commissioner of Agriculture Race: Democrat Nikki Fried and Republican Matt Caldwell will face off in November

By: - August 28, 2018

When Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam decided to run for governor, seven candidates jumped in to compete for the open Cabinet post – four Republicans and three Democrats. Two candidates in the group won in Tuesday’s primary: Attorney Nicole “Nikki” Fried easily defeated two other candidates to win the Democratic primary, and State House Rep. […]

Andrew Gillum victory

Andrew Gillum wins Democratic Primary

By: , , and - August 28, 2018

Andrew Gillum, the upstart progressive Tallahassee mayor, became the Florida Democratic Party’s nominee for governor Tuesday night, defeating Gwen Graham, the scion of a storied Florida political family. “We can be the David in this situation where there is a Goliath,” Gillum told supporters as he accepted the nomination at a victory party in Tallahassee, […]

Florida Supreme Court kicks lawsuit challenging six constitutional amendments down to lower courts

By: and - August 28, 2018

Florida’s Supreme Court on Tuesday kicked a lawsuit down to circuit courts in Leon County for the lower courts to decide whether to knock six constitutional amendments off the November ballot. Harry Lee Anstead, a former Florida Supreme Court justice, and Robert Barnas first filed a lawsuit Aug. 14 in the Florida Supreme Court challenging […]

Charter groups hope to sway Florida Supreme Court to put education-related Amendment 8 back on the ballot

By: - August 27, 2018

Key charter school supporters and two community groups are urging the Florida Supreme Court to keep an education-related Constitutional amendment on the ballot in November, saying, “Students should not be denied the best, most innovative learning options because of constitutional barriers.” The amendment was kicked off the ballot last week, when a Leon Circuit Court […]

Gubernatorial candidates react as Florida endures another shooting, this time in Jacksonville

By: - August 26, 2018

Florida is certain to remain a lightning rod in the national debate about gun violence and gun-control legislation after Sunday’s mass shooting in Jacksonville. The shootings at a video gaming event in downtown Jacksonville – which followed the Orlando nightclub massacre in June 2016 and the February killings at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School […]


How old is too old when you’re a political candidate?

By: - August 24, 2018

This summer, campaign ads in the race for Florida’s U.S. Senate seat have depicted Democrat incumbent Bill Nelson as “terribly confused,” as well as a politician in Washington for a “half-century.” To set the record straight: Nelson hasn’t been in Washington D.C. for a half century – he served in various elected positions in Florida […]

labor union photo

Three questions for the candidates running for governor: Labor Unions

By: - August 24, 2018

Today in the Florida Phoenix, we continue our election series, where we ask three questions of the candidates for Florida governor, who face off in the Aug. 28 primary. Each day we’ll cover a different topic of interest to voters. Today we ask about labor unions. The Republican candidates — Adam Putnam and Ron DeSantis […]

The growing list of “firsts” in Florida’s election season

By: - August 23, 2018

It’s hard to ignore all the examples: Florida’s election season is remarkable in that there are so many “firsts.” That means a particular candidate who wins would stand out as the first of his or her kind, relating to gender, race, religion and sexual orientation. An AP story highlighted several instances that reflect the diversity […]

More fake Facebook accounts revealed, potentially swaying voters

By: - August 22, 2018

On Tuesday, the FBI and U.S. Department of Homeland Security told Florida elections officials that “we have not seen new or ongoing compromises of state or local election infrastructure in Florida.” But the feds went on to say: “Russian government actors have previously demonstrated both the intent and capability to conduct malicious cyber operations.” Now […]

Manatee deaths on the rise; Red Tide blamed

By: - August 21, 2018

A troubling and stunning number of manatees have been dying – 554 so far this year, with four more months to go, according to a Tampa Bay Times analysis. In all of 2017, 538 manatees died. The deaths, in part, are being blamed on Red Tide, with the story stating that “the Red Tide bloom […]

UPDATE: Education-related Amendment 8 kicked off November ballot; now headed to Florida Supreme Court

By: - August 20, 2018

A legal and philosophical battle over the control of public schools is now headed toward the Florida Supreme Court, with the stakes high over an education-related Constitutional amendment that could be retained or removed from the Nov. 6 ballot. At least for now, the controversial Amendment 8 is off the ballot, based on a ruling […]

Florida NOW endorses Gwen Graham; Greene stays in race after NOW’s call to get out

By: - August 20, 2018

The Florida National Organization for Women’s Political Action Committee on Monday endorsed Gwen Graham for governor – the only woman among the major gubernatorial candidates vying for the top political job in Florida. A former U.S. Representative and daughter of former U.S. Senator and Gov. Bob Graham, Gwen Graham would be the first female governor […]