John Kennedy

John Kennedy has covered the Capitol since 1989. He was a reporter for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, with beats including Palm Beach County politics, government and the condo belt, before coming to Tallahassee. He's covered state and national politics for the Sun-Sentinel and The Orlando Sentinel, where he worked 10 years as Tallahassee bureau chief. Before joining The Post, he was a reporter and associate editor of the News Service of Florida. He likes the Boston Red Sox, New York football Giants, and reading a fresh staff analysis.

Latest from John Kennedy

Scott turns to those he appointed for campaign cash

Posted: a minute ago

Locked in one of the nation’s costliest elections, Republican Rick Scott is pulling campaign money not only from his own pocket and from major GOP national donors, but also from another rich vein of cash. Well-heeled Floridians appointed by Scott to a number of state boards during his two terms as governor are ponying up to help him...
Florida election 2018: Attorney general candidates square off
 An open seat for Florida attorney general has triggered open warfare among candidates in both the Democratic and Republican primaries for the Cabinet post. Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi, term-limited after eight years, has endorsed fellow Tampa resident, former Hillsborough County Circuit Judge Ashley Moody. But Moody’s opponent...

Posted: 7 days ago

An open seat for Florida attorney general has triggered open warfare among candidates in both the Democratic and Republican primaries for the Cabinet post. Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi, term-limited after eight years, has endorsed fellow Tampa resident, former Hillsborough County Circuit Judge Ashley Moody. But Moody’s opponent...
For DeSantis, Trump’s nod also means cash from big GOP donors
 President Donald Trump’s endorsement of Republican Ron DeSantis for Florida governor included not only a massive rally in Tampa last week - it also brought a fresh torrent of cash to the campaign from top GOP donors nationwide. Trump’s early morning tweet June 22 – saying that DeSantis “will be a Great Governor & has...

Posted: 13 days ago

President Donald Trump’s endorsement of Republican Ron DeSantis for Florida governor included not only a massive rally in Tampa last week - it also brought a fresh torrent of cash to the campaign from top GOP donors nationwide. Trump’s early morning tweet June 22 – saying that DeSantis “will be a Great Governor & has...
Guns emerge as looming issue in Florida governor race
 In a state home to two of the deadliest mass shootings in modern U.S. history, Florida’s Democratic and Republican gubernatorial primaries enter their last month with guns emerging as a central issue on both sides. Well-financed Republican Adam Putnam has seen his lead slip away in most polls to President Donald Trump-backed rival Ron...

Posted: 19 days ago

In a state home to two of the deadliest mass shootings in modern U.S. history, Florida’s Democratic and Republican gubernatorial primaries enter their last month with guns emerging as a central issue on both sides. Well-financed Republican Adam Putnam has seen his lead slip away in most polls to President Donald Trump-backed rival Ron...
Wife’s holdings included in Gov. Scott’s latest financial report
 Gov. Rick Scott released details Friday of his family’s vast financial holdings – including for the first time those owned outright by his wife – to comply with disclosure requirements in his U.S. Senate bid. The Senate requires only that assets be reported in a range, so the bottom line on the Scott family’s wealth...

Posted: 21 days ago

Gov. Rick Scott released details Friday of his family’s vast financial holdings – including for the first time those owned outright by his wife – to comply with disclosure requirements in his U.S. Senate bid. The Senate requires only that assets be reported in a range, so the bottom line on the Scott family’s wealth...
Florida Gov. Scott orders softer approach on restricting beach access
 After a Facebook posting of Panhandle sheriff’s deputies confronting beachgoers, Gov. Rick Scott is urging law enforcement to go easy on enforcing a controversial, new private property law he signed. Scott late Thursday signed an executive order that he said underscores that Florida’s beaches remain open to the public. &ldquo...

4:00 AM Saturday, Jul. 14, 2018

After a Facebook posting of Panhandle sheriff’s deputies confronting beachgoers, Gov. Rick Scott is urging law enforcement to go easy on enforcing a controversial, new private property law he signed. Scott late Thursday signed an executive order that he said underscores that Florida’s beaches remain open to the public. &ldquo...
Rick Scott’s Senate financing still mostly a mystery
 Three months since he announced for U.S. Senate, and $10 million in TV advertising later, Floridians still don’t know much about who is funding Gov. Rick Scott’s free-swinging campaign. Scott’s first campaign finance report won’t be made public until July 15 — deep into his bid to unseat three-term Democratic...

10:56 PM Sunday, Jul. 08, 2018

Three months since he announced for U.S. Senate, and $10 million in TV advertising later, Floridians still don’t know much about who is funding Gov. Rick Scott’s free-swinging campaign. Scott’s first campaign finance report won’t be made public until July 15 — deep into his bid to unseat three-term Democratic...
FEA union seeks politicians’ pledge on support for teacher pay hikes
 The state’s largest teachers union kicked off an election-year campaign Tuesday aimed at getting Florida politicians to sign a pledge vowing to boost the pay of educators to the national average over the next five years. The proposal could cost as much as $600 million, the Florida Education Association acknowledged. PBC schools chief...

3:51 PM Tuesday, Jun. 26, 2018

The state’s largest teachers union kicked off an election-year campaign Tuesday aimed at getting Florida politicians to sign a pledge vowing to boost the pay of educators to the national average over the next five years. The proposal could cost as much as $600 million, the Florida Education Association acknowledged. PBC schools chief...
State budget glitch may slash homeless funds
 Already reeling from a drop in affordable housing money, community activists across Florida now fear losing key funding for homeless programs — apparently because of a misstep by the Legislature. The state budget set to take effect July 1 includes $4.1 million in grants for homeless organizations helping needy families. But lawmakers...

12:44 AM Sunday, Jun. 17, 2018

Already reeling from a drop in affordable housing money, community activists across Florida now fear losing key funding for homeless programs — apparently because of a misstep by the Legislature. The state budget set to take effect July 1 includes $4.1 million in grants for homeless organizations helping needy families. But lawmakers...
Lucrative Florida prison health care contract under increasing scrutiny

11:15 PM Friday, Jun. 08, 2018

Deep cuts to drug treatment, mental health and community re-entry programs across Florida are heightening scrutiny of a lucrative, prison health care contract poised to be finalized this month. The $375 million deal now on the table with Centurion of Florida allows it to take an 11.5 percent “administrative fee” that can not only...
Florida judge lifts stay on smokeable marijuana
 TALLAHASSEE – Medical marijuana in smokeable form may become available to Florida patients in coming months after a judge Tuesday defied Gov. Rick Scott and the Republican-led Legislature and ordered state regulators to get ready for the change. Leon County Circuit Judge Karen Gievers lifted a legal stay prompted by the Scott administration&rsquo...

10:34 PM Tuesday, Jun. 05, 2018

TALLAHASSEE – Medical marijuana in smokeable form may become available to Florida patients in coming months after a judge Tuesday defied Gov. Rick Scott and the Republican-led Legislature and ordered state regulators to get ready for the change. Leon County Circuit Judge Karen Gievers lifted a legal stay prompted by the Scott administration&rsquo...