Author

Mitch Perry

Mitch Perry

Mitch Perry has covered politics and government in Florida for more than two decades. Most recently he is the former politics reporter for Bay News 9. He has also worked at Florida Politics, Creative Loafing and WMNF Radio in Tampa. He was also part of the original staff when the Florida Phoenix was created in 2018.

More than 1.86 million Floridians have already voted before Election Day

By: - August 27, 2018

Floridians have voted by mail or at early voting precincts in record numbers leading up to Tuesday night’s primary election – with even more voters participating than in 2016 – the last presidential election. That’s significant because turnout is usually higher during presidential election years and lower during mid-term elections like this one. A total […]

AG candidate Ryan Torrens tossed off the ballot — for now

By: - August 24, 2018

A Leon County Circuit Judge has tossed Democratic attorney general candidate Ryan Torrens off the August 28 ballot, but Torrens has filed a notice of appeal. In a ruling handed down late Friday afternoon, Judge Karen Gievers ruled that Torrens had improperly filled out a campaign “loan” check to qualify for the race and “should […]

George Sheldon dies: “This is a devastating loss for all of us.”

By: - August 24, 2018

George Sheldon, a former Florida lawmaker, state agency secretary and longtime child advocate, has died at 71. The Miami Herald reported Friday that Sheldon died Thursday, “three weeks after he fell at his home gym, fracturing a vertebra in his neck.” Sheldon had most recently been working as the CEO and President of Our Kids […]

Lawson vs. Brown: Geography, ideology, is key in North Florida’s 5th Congressional district

By: - August 24, 2018

When the race for a seat in the 5th Congressional District got started, incumbent Democrat Al Lawson was considered vulnerable because of geography: The North Florida district had been redrawn in 2015, with nearly half in urban Duval County on the Atlantic Coast. In contrast, Lawson had spent more than three decades representing voters in […]

Two FL immigrant rights groups join lawsuit over Census question: Is this person a citizen of the United States?

By: - August 23, 2018

Two Florida-based immigration rights groups have joined a federal lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s plan to include a citizenship question on the 2020 decennial Census. The Florida Immigrant Coalition and the Family Action Network Movement were among groups from other states that joined this week in the court case. The controversial census question asks: Is […]

Gwen Graham

A fiery Gwen Graham is already looking past next Tuesday

By: - August 23, 2018

Just days before the primary election, a confident Gwen Graham on Thursday cast a vote for herself in the race for governor, then moved on to talk about being the first Democrat to lead the state in two decades. Asked about the reality of working with what may remain a GOP- controlled Legislature, Graham said: […]

Construction

Three questions for the candidates running for governor: Affordable Housing

By: - August 23, 2018

Today on the Florida Phoenix, we continue our election series, where we ask three questions of the candidates for 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 affordable housing. The Republican candidates – Adam Putnam and Ron DeSantis – […]

Pictured clockwise from upper left; Sean Shaw, Ryan Torrens, Frank White & Ashley Moody

Florida’s next Attorney General could shake up the state’s top legal job — or not. Voters will decide.

By: - August 23, 2018

Florida will soon have a new attorney general who could dramatically shift priorities on provocative issues ranging from ex-felon voting rights to immigration and health care concerns. Or, the status quo would remain at the now Republican-led AG’s office. It will all be up to voters, starting with Tuesday’s primary election, and then the general […]

To Florida Legislature: Pass the fracking ban in 2019

By: - August 22, 2018

Stymied over the past three years, a coalition of environmental and business groups issued a letter calling on Florida lawmakers to ban the controversial practice of fracking, with more than 100 city and county elected officials signing on. “Fracking and the associated chemicals pose unacceptable risks to Florida families, tourists, our water supply, and economy,” […]

Florida environmentalists blast Trump proposal on power plant standards, saying “health disaster” will result

By: - August 21, 2018

Environmentalists and some public officials in Florida criticized an Environmental Protection Agency proposal released today which gives states more authority to make their own plans for regulating greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants. “What is new about this rule is it will guarantee that climate change will progress from a serious health problem to […]

Florida inmates expected to join in a nationwide prison strike today

By: - August 21, 2018

Prisoners in Florida correctional facilities are refusing to report to their assigned jobs and in some cases engaged in peaceful sit-ins to demand immediate improvements to living conditions. It’s part of a strike in 17 states called by prisoner advocacy groups in the wake of bloodshed at a maximum-security South Carolina prison back in April, when […]

Leon County polling station

Feds say no “new or ongoing” election interference, but Russians capable of “malicious cyber operations”

By: - August 21, 2018

With controversy swirling over U.S. Senator Bill Nelson’s remarks about election hacking, federal officials told Florida’s Secretary of State this week that “we have not seen new or ongoing compromises of state or local election infrastructure in Florida.” At the same time, “Russian government actors have previously demonstrated both the intent and capability to conduct […]