Round-up of Sunday editorials from Florida's leading newspapers

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Tampa Bay Times: Senate primaries give voters few options

“The Aug. 14 primary elections for U.S. Senate hold little excitement for Republicans or Democrats. The focus already is on the November general election, when Democrat Bill Nelson will be seeking a third term. In the GOP primary, the Times recommends former U.S. Rep. Dave Weldon against U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV.”

Bradenton Herald: Manatee FCAT scores mostly poor, but changes obscure ‘accountability’

“As widely expected among educators and state officials, FCAT scores plunged all across the Sunshine State. Manatee County’s elementary and middle schools fared poorly, with 27 dropping a grade and only five improving by one. But comparisons to past years are impossible because of this year’s tougher test standards, dubbed FCAT 2.0. Gov. Rick Scott is open to additional change next year, and then Florida will shift to end-of-course exams in 2014-2015 school year — rendering this “accountability” process even more meaningless. These new grades seem more punitive than instructive under such shifting circumstances.”

The Daytona Beach News-Journal: Beach Street gets another small but needed boost

“A number of Daytona Beach players deserve credit for accomplishing a small feat in the larger task of improving the city’s old downtown. A vacant lot at the northwest corner of Beach Street and International Speedway Boulevard is now a freshly minted public plaza. Where wrappers once blew by, there are now new palm trees, flowers, brick pavers and pictures of the historic downtown. It’s a step made by downtown businesses and the city to help turn Beach Street into the attraction it once was for residents. Once the commerce center of Daytona Beach, the draw of downtown began to wane in the 1960s, as development farther west on the mainland grew.”

The Florida Times-Union, Title IX improved the lives of women

“Since Title IX was passed 40 years ago, America has come a long way in providing more opportunities for women. The law was intended to cover a variety of activities that involve federal funding, but it has drawn the most attention for more equality in athletics.”

The Lakeland Ledger: The Ledger Recommends – Supervisor of Elections: Lori Edwards

“Two candidates are competing to serve as Polk County supervisor of elections.

They are Colleen Burton and incumbent Lori Edwards. The supervisor’s position will be decided in the Aug. 14 primary election. The race is nonpartisan. It is open to all voters.” 

The Miami Herald: The state attorney’s holistic approach to crime-fighting and vast experience gives her edge

“Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle and lawyer Rod Vereen are vying in a hotly contested Democratic Party primary that includes two write-in candidates in the general election. The write-ins have essentially closed this primary, an issue that’s being disputed in court. Regardless of how the federal judge rules in the next few weeks, a closed primary when there is no opponent from the other major political party in a general election is anathema in a democracy. In this important race it will lock out 57 percent of county voters — Republicans and those not affiliated with either major party.”

The Orlando Sentinel: What the Sentinel’s candidate endorsements are and are not

“Endorsements are an institutional opinion expressed by the editorial board — which consists of the people who put together the print and online opinion content, including editorial writers Paul Owens and Darryl Owens and myself. Our choices are a consensus, made in consultation with the Sentinel’s editor, Mark Russell, and its publisher, Howard Greenberg. Endorsements are made after we’ve talked with the candidates (at least, those who are willing to meet with us); looked at incumbents’ voting records; examined challengers’ credentials; gone over their campaign platforms; read their campaign literature; checked into their backgrounds; and sometimes consulted with other sources to see what they know.”

Tampa Tribune, Panacek should resign from county children’s board

“Despite an independent audit that found the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County to be in chaos, Executive Director Luanne Panacek thinks “trust can be restored.” That may be so, but not under her leadership. The agency employees, the audit revealed, are thoroughly demoralized and have no confidence in top administrators. In a remarkable finding, nearly 70 percent of the workers surveyed by Invictus Human Capital Management in Seffner “feel that management would misrepresent a situation for personal gain.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.