Polls consistently show voters have buyer’s remorse over Gov. Rick Scott and it is fueling speculation about who will seek the Democratic nomination to challenge him in 2014. Polls also show former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist, who has changed his party registration to Democrat, easily winning the Democratic primary even though he has not announced his candidacy.
State Sen. Nan Rich has announced but she is polling at less than 5 percent to 61 percent for Crist. Others who may seek the Democratic nomination are Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler, former Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, who lost in 2010 to Scott, and former Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jimmy Morales. There are no current efforts to clear the deck for Crist but that is not stopping the Republicans from campaigning against him. Expect the other potential candidates to get backing from Republican donors in an effort to stop Crist, who worries Republicans in a race against the unpopular Scott. Such prospects could make for a nasty fight for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.
Palm Beach County
Julian Sanabria, 44, has been charged with capital sexual battery over allegations he sexually assaulted his ex-girlfriend’s 6-year-old daughter when the child’s mother would leave her in his care while running errands and grocery shopping. The couple broke up last year and the child told her mother about the incident earlier this year, when police opened an investigation. During several arranged phone calls with police listening, Sanabria denied the allegations and, at one point, said he would no longer talk on the phone because “police might be listening.”
Delray Beach police arrested Raymond Schamis, 41, on drug charges. Officers said he attacked them and tried to break the window of a squad car. Police were dispatched to his home to check reports on a naked man wandering through the neighborhood. When officers arrived, they found marijuana plants and evidence Schamis was operating a grow house, officers said. Police said they seized numerous plants and 19 pounds of packaged marijuana, along with the equipment and $5,300 in cash.
Artavious B. Malone, a 16-year-old Wellington High School student, has been charged as an adult in the attempted murder of his estranged father. Malone is charged with attempted first degree murder and possession of a firearm by a delinquent. Authorities alleged Malone fired five shots at Archie Malone on Nov. 9 after the two argued during what is thought to be a chance encounter at a Belle Glade liquor store.
Cooper City Commissioner John Sims is the latest politician to come under fire over an insulting Facebook comment about President Barack Obama. He wrote: “Just wanted to let you know … today I received my 2013 Social Security Stimulus Package. It contained two tomato seeds, cornbread mix, two discount coupons to KFC, an ‘Obama Hope & Change’ bumper sticker, a prayer rug, a machine to blow smoke up my [expletive deleted] and a ‘Blame it on Bush’ poster for the front yard. The directions were in Spanish. Yours should arrive soon.” Critics say the remarks are racist and an attack on blacks, Muslims and Hispanics. Sims is not talking but some residents are demanding an apology.
Hundreds of congregants at the Faith Center Ministries church, 5555 N.W. 95th Ave., Sunrise, were shocked by the shooting of a woman in the church’s parking lot as she left services. The suspected shooter then turned the gun on himself and died at a local hospital. The woman is expected to survive but her condition was not released. The suspect is believed to have been the woman’s former boyfriend. Police said he shot the woman after she came out of the church and got into her car, along with her 12-year-old daughter, who was unharmed.
RUN, PERRY, RUN
Friends and supporters are urging state Rep. Perry E. Thurston, a Democrat, to run for Florida attorney general in 2014 against Republican incumbent Pam Bondi. The reasoning is that with Gov. Rick Scott at the top of ticket, his unpopularity could bring down Republicans around the state.
Ebony Taylor, 25, of Miami is facing multiple charges after allegedly being caught shoplifting at a Target store in Miramar. Police said that, when confronted by security guards and an off-duty Pembroke Pines police officer who assisted, she pepper-sprayed and bit them. Police also say she was caught with $553 worth of merchandise. She is now charged with shoplifting, theft, aggravated battery on a police officer and aggravated assault. Police said Taylor has nine prior theft convictions and was out on bond awaiting trial over a Nov. 16 theft case in Aventura.
CEASAR WINS AGAIN
Mitch Ceasar, chairman of the Broward County Democratic Executive Committee, the governing body of the local Democratic Party, has held that post since 1996. He has been challenged every four years since and has consistently won re-election. This past weekend, he did it again, defeating Cynthia Busch, an up-and-coming party activist. The party needs new blood as it prepares for the midterm elections in 2014, so expect Ceasar to extend some type of olive branch to Busch.
Miami-Dade County Commissioner Audrey Edmonson has announced plans for a new affordable housing development slated for the impoverished Brownsville community to replace the dilapidated Hampton Village Apartments. Ground was broken last week on the $20 million, four-story, 100-unit complex. Construction is expected to create about 100 jobs and is scheduled for completion in 2013.
Former Miami-Dade County Manager Merrett Stierheim has been appointed to serve as interim city manager of the city of Doral following the abrupt resignation of Yvonne Soler-McKinley. Stierheim, however, says he is not interested in filling the job permanently. He has served as Miami-Dade County manager, Miami city manager, Miami Lakes town administrator and Miami-Dade County Public Schools superintendent.
Former Homestead City Councilman Norman Hodge is once again seeking a return to City Hall. Hodge is running for seat #4, as well as the vice-mayor designation. The seat is currently held by Councilman Jimmie L. Williams III, who is expected to seek re-election. Former Councilman Melvin McCormick, who was defeated by Williams in the 2009 election, could also end up running for his old seat. The city’s elections are scheduled for November 2013 and, depending on the number of candidates, primaries would be held in August.
*Pictured above is Elgin Jones.