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Orlando Mayor Dyer, Commissioner Ortiz Launch Hispanic Heritage Month at City Hall



Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer (left) and Orlando Commissioner Tony Ortiz (District 2, right) honored community and business leaders as well as residents at Orlando City Hall in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15-October 15, 2019. Photo: Jay Pina/Florida National News.

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – To celebrate the commencement of Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 to October 15, 2019, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Orlando District 2 Commissioner Tony Ortiz, and Orange County citizens gathered at Orlando City Hall to recognize Latin American culture.

“Hispanic Americas: A History of Serving Our Nation” as the event was called, honored and recognized distinguished guests in their accomplishments in their industries as well as to feature Mayor Dyer’s Hispanic Heritage Month proclamation for 2019. Guests included Orlando Commissioners Robert Stuart, Patty Sheehan, and Sam Ings, Orange County Commissioners Mayra Uribe and Maribel Gomez Cordero, Orange Soil & Water Conservation District Supervisor Daisy Morales, and Orlando Pride’s own Toni Pressley and Marta,who received an award for her achievements in sports. As she received her award, she updated event hostess Ybeth Bruzual that she is now officially a Goodwill Ambassador, working to empower and equip young girls to play soccer.

The event also offered Latin food, live music, entertainment and a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Hispanic Heritage Month Art Gallery, which recognized the originality and heritage of art from 26 Central Florida artists from different cultural backgrounds and art disciplines to commemorate Orlando’s diversity and acknowledgment of the contributions of the growing Hispanic community.


Xarria Rhodel and Mellissa Thomas contributed to this report. |


Lt. Governor Nominee Karla Hernández’s ‘Latinas for Choice’ Tour Kickoff Lacks Hispanic Women Leaders



ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN) – Karla Hernández, Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Florida, held a press conference outside of Orlando City Hall to announce the campaign’s Latinas For Choice tour Wednesday morning.

Hernández was joined by five progressive activists, including Orange County School Board Member Johnna Lopez, State Representative Anna Eskamani and former State Representative District 48 candidate Samuel Vilchez Santiago.

The following Orange County Hispanic women elected leaders did not attend Hernandez’s Latinas for Choice announcement:

  1. Florida State Representative Daisy Morales
  2. Orange County District 3 Commissioner Mayra Uribe
  3. Orange County District 4 Commissioner Maribel Gomez Cordero
  4. Orange County District 5 Commissioner Emily Bonilla
  5. Orange County Property Appraiser Amy Mercado
  6. Orange County Soil & Water Conservation District Supervisor Raquel Lozano


While the campaign tour is just launched and in its infancy, the press conference showcased a humble beginning in terms of support for a major support. It appeared that no Spanish-speaking news outlets were present to cover the announcement. Local media outlets WESH 2, WFTV Channel 9 and Florida National News were the outlets present.

Two of the six individuals at the podium being men, and one being a young student. The total number of Latinas, then, was three–if the young lady is included in the count.

However, there may be a reason for that.


New Poll Shows a Different Priority Among Latino Voters

The Palm Beach Post reported findings from a recent poll which showed that 70% of Florida Hispanics oppose making abortion illegal, but it’s not their biggest issue. According to the Post, a large majority of Florida Hispanic voters believe it’s wrong to make abortion illegal, even if it goes against their personal beliefs. Here’s the breakdown of what Hispanic voters in the poll feel are “the most important issues that elected officials should address”:

  1. Inflation/rising cost of living (53%)
  2. Crime/gun violence (38%)
  3. Jobs/economy (36%)
  4. Healthcare (21%)
  5. Climate/environment (16%)

Abortion, at 15%, tied with a lack of affordable housing/high rents and Social Security and Medicare.

Hispanics want to keep abortion legal, but it isn’t a top priority. Image via The Associated Press.


When asked about this during the press conference, Hernandez assured that Charlie Crist, assuming he’s elected governor in November, would prioritize legislation addressing the top three priorities listed in the poll. Watch the livestream of the full press conference above.

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VIDEO: Morales Campaign Drops Rita Harris’s F-Bomb-Laced Tirade Targeting Bernie Sanders and Progressive Supporters



U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders photo: Jemal Countess/Getty Images. Jennifer "Rita" Harris photo: Scott Powers/Florida Politics.

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN) – The Daisy Morales campaign released a video over the weekend of opponent Jennifer “Rita” Harris‘s profanity-laced tirade against U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders and his progressive supporters on Harris’s Medium blog account.

Harris has deleted the account.

The Morales campaign brought the receipts in this press release, with screenshots from Harris’s Medium blog account and various Facebook posts.

Morales’s campaign pointed out the irony of Harris’s attack on Sen. Bernie Sanders and his supporters and her current backing by the progressive arm of the Democratic Party, United for Progress, Ruth’s List Florida, and other progressive groups.

The Morales campaign slammed Harris in the press release saying “she cannot be trusted, is unfit to serve in public office, and isn’t safe around children younger than 13 years old when it comes to vulgar language, dubbing herself a “part time a**hole” on her Medium blog account (which, by the way, has now been taken down).”


Harris’s Medium post, “Be Gone Bernie Sanders, and Take Your Little Bots Too,” attacks Bernie Sanders and his progressive supporters with a slew of profanities. The campaign warns that viewers will need earbuds to view the video, which is an almost seven-minute voice-to-text read-along of the blog post.

The Morales campaign continued its attack, followed by several screenshots of Harris’s Facebook posts containing F-bombs: “Tallahassee lawmakers are expected to represent the people of our districts and the state of Florida with dignity and respect. Not everything has to be a vulgar attack. Anger must be controlled. And Harris seems to have a lot of it—minus the control.

“Her social media posts are riddled with F-bombs, whether they are friendly or contentious.”


Source: Facebook.


Source: Facebook.


Source: Facebook.


Source: Facebook.

The Morales campaign ended the video drop by saying, “This is the real Jennifer “Rita” Harris.”


The Morales Campaign Triples Down on Harris’s Business Background

Following the video drop, the Morales campaign again highlights Harris’s business background, referring to the Orlando Sentinel’s most recent article with Harris finally opening up about her business background.

The press release says in relevant part:

“If all that wasn’t enough, Harris isn’t forthcoming about her business background. She kept that information from the voters and from the media. Her campaign never listed her business background, and the voters have a right to know. She admitted herself to the Orlando Sentinel in a recent article that she only lists herself as a CEO of her husband’s company, Harris Cloud Consulting, on LinkedIn “for networking purposes.” Why is that deception necessary? There’s nothing wrong with being a housewife promoting your husband’s company on his behalf.

“It turns out Harris Cloud Consulting isn’t the first company she’s been listed as the CEO for. She was the CEO of Kronos Unlimited, LLC, a failed business dissolved by the State. This looks like a pattern. She’s essentially a fake CEO. It’s also interesting that the Orlando Sentinel learned of her deception after they endorsed her.

“If she’s being deceptive here and now, what’s to stop her from doing it in Tallahassee? What else is she being dishonest about? (Besides the work address for one of the companies they registered in Florida using a non-Florida address and zip code.)”


Morales Campaign Also Doubles Down on Lack of Vetting on Harris

“All of this foolishness speaks loudly to the lack of a real background check on the part of the people and organizations endorsing Harris, like the Democratic establishment and high profile Democrats like Charlie Crist, State Attorney Monique Worrell, State Senators Victor Torres and Jason Pizzo, and School Board Member Johanna Lopez, just name a few,” said Rep. Morales in the press release.

“There are Democratic candidates in other Florida races that organizations and elected officials have had to rescind their endorsements from because they failed to do their research. State Rep. Anna Eskamani warned Florida Democrats of that recently concerning the Ag Commissioner race.”

Rep. Morales went on to say that Harris’s titles as Orange County Democratic Party Vice Chair and founder and former President of the Democratic Women’s Club of South Orange County don’t exempt her from a thorough background check, saying that even those running for US President have to undergo rigorous scrutiny. “It seems like in this race, many turned a blind eye to Harris’s history.”

Morales ends the press release by expressed gratitude for “the concerned voters that brought this to my campaign’s attention.”

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Black Lives

Black Lives Matter Group Slams Osceola County Sheriff Lopez in Target Shooting



Black Lives Matter Restoration Polk, Inc. co-founder and vice president Pastor Carl Soto calls for Osceola County Sheriff Marcos Lopez's resignation during a press conference in Kissimmee Tuesday, May 17, 2022. Image: WESH 2 News (screen capture).

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (FNN) – Black Lives Matter Restoration Polk, Inc. called for the resignation of Osceola County Sheriff Marcos Lopez during a press conference in Kissimmee Tuesday after the deputy-involved shooting at Target in late April resulting in a death.

Pastor Carl Soto, BLMRP co-founder and vice president, slammed Osceola County Sheriff Marcos Lopez in light of the incident that killed 20-year-old Jayden Baez and injured 18-year-old Michael Gomez and 19-year-old Joseph Lowe.

Video released from the Osceola County sheriff’s office shows the victim’s car going forward when deputies surrounded it. Four people inside the car, including 20-year-old Jayden Baez, were accused of shoplifting. Baez died when deputies fired gunshots.

Pastor Soto noted that the surviving victims of the shooting claim they had their hands up before the shots fired. He clarified that according to the victims, all of the law enforcement vehicles were not only unmarked, but didn’t sound any sirens or flashed any police lights when they approached. He further said that, according to the video, an unmarked deputy vehicle, a silver Ford F-150, struck the vehicle the victims were in first before their vehicle made any moves.

Soto slammed the fact that the deputies involved weren’t wearing body cameras and Sheriff Lopez for clearing his deputies of any wrongdoing.

“We have severe concerns about the credibility of Sheriff Marcos Lopez and demand for him to resign,” Soto pushed during the press conference, demanding criminal charges be filed against “each and every deputy” that discharged their firearms during the incident. He further demanded an independent investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice since, according to him, the FDLE “can’t be transparent” in shootings that involve law enforcement officers. He called on State Attorney Monique Worrell to “do her job” and press charges against the deputies involved immediately.

“We are talking about three teens that allegedly took Pokemon cards…and a box of pizza. We’re not condoning that, but that amounts to a misdemeanor. We now have a 20-year-old that’s dead, we have a 19-year-old that’s in the hospital, and an 18-year-old that nearly got his hand blown off.”

Soto, who said he is the nephew of a lieutenant and the brother of a sergeant, emphasized that the deputies involved are “peace officers” first and should have pursued peaceful means of apprehending the victims first, but instead “chose violence.”

He acknowledged that attorney Mark Nejame is pursuing litigation and that the families of the victims are “appalled” and “angry.”

“This is murder,” he said. “And we’re calling for federal charges.”


Mellissa Thomas is Editor for Florida National News. |

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