Last Call for 4.9.18 — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics


Last Call — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics.

First Shot

Jeri Bustamante

Gov. Rick Scott, First Lady Ann Scott and Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera offered condolences upon news of the death of their former press secretary, 33-year-old Jeri Bustamante, who died Sunday night in a boating accident.

“It is with true sadness that we learned today of (Jeri’s) passing … (She) faithfully served in our administration for many years,” the Scotts said in a statement.

“Anyone who ever spent time with Jeri knows what a terrific and selfless person she was. Her personality filled rooms and hearts. We grieve with her family today.”

Bustamante died after a boat she was riding in “crashed into mangrove branches lining a narrow channel in Islamorada,” reported Monday.

She worked for Lopez-Cantera when he was Miami-Dade’s Property Appraiser. She later joined Scott’s press office when Lopez-Cantera became lieutenant governor in 2014.

Lopez-Cantera added, “Jeri … was a joy to work with and cared tremendously about her family, her career and the Floridians she served … My family and I are grieving with Jeri’s family and those closest to her.”

Evening Reads

Bill Nelson meets with Mark Zuckerberg” via Alex Leary of the Tampa Bay Times

Nelson has never been tested list this. But neither has Rick Scott.” via David Smiley and Alex Daugherty of the Miami Herald

Scott: I don’t intend to fit in” via Scott Powers of Florida Politics

Why Scott’s Senate candidacy is very, very good news for Republicans” via Chris Cillizza of CNN

Scott draws environmentalists’ aim in Senate bid” via Bruce Ritchie of POLITICO Florida

Miami woman (Scott spokesperson Jeri Bustamante) dies in Florida Keys boat crash” via David Goodie of the Miami Herald

Enterprise Florida plans Qatar mission to explore investment” via Gulf Times

Pay gap: Florida women make 87 cents for every $1 men make, report says” via Sara DiNatale of the Tampa Bay Times

We’re not ready for hurricane season, and it’s 8 weeks away” via Eric Holthaus of Grist

Cleveland publisher buys Tampa alternative weekly Creative Loafing” via Richard Danielson of the Tampa Bay Times

Quote of the Day

“Washington is full of old thinking. Washington is tired. And the truth is, both political parties share some of the blame. They’ve tried a lot of things — it just didn’t work. But I will not accept the idea that we can’t change Washington.” — Gov. Rick Scott, in prepared remarks released ahead of his U.S. Senate run announcement.

Bill Day’s Latest

Breakthrough Insights  

Wake Up Early?

Voters in Palm Beach County’s Senate District 31 will go to the polls in a special election. Democrat Lori Berman and Republican Tami Donnally are running for the seat, which became open when former Democratic Sen. Jeff Clemens of Lake Worth resigned after disclosures about an extramarital affair with a lobbyist.

Staff members for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio will hold “mobile” office hours in Miami-Dade and Duval counties. That’s at 9:30 a.m., Stephen P. Clark Government Center, 111 N.W. First St., Miami, and 10 a.m., Webb Wesconnett Library, 6887 103rd St., Jacksonville.

Committees of the Citizens Property Insurance Corp. Board of Governors will meet in advance of a full board meeting Wednesday. Meetings start at 1 p.m., Sheraton Orlando North, 600 North Lake Destiny Dr., Maitland.

The state Three-Member Panel, which works on workers’ compensation insurance issues, will discuss maximum reimbursement allowances for physicians, hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers. That’s at 1 p.m., Larson Building, 200 East Gaines St., Tallahassee.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam will host a roundtable discussion about the opioid epidemic, which has led to overdose deaths across the state. That’s at 2:15 p.m., Sarasota County Jail, 2020 Main St., Sarasota.

A campaign kickoff event is scheduled for Democrat Fentrice Driskell, who is challenging GOP state Rep. Shawn Harrison in Hillsborough County’s House District 63. That’s at 5:30 p.m., Vizcaya Restaurante & Tapas Bar, 10905 North Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa.

Rep. Margaret Good, a Sarasota Democrat, will hold a town hall to provide a 2018 Legislative Session wrap-up and address community concerns. That’s at 6 p.m., Sun Coast Technical College Conference Center, 4748 Beneva Rd., Sarasota.

Sen. Bobby Powell, a West Palm Beach Democrat, and Rep. Matt Willhite, a Wellington Democrat, are expected to discuss the 2018 legislative session during a meeting of the Western Communities of West Palm Beach Democratic Club. That’s at 7 p.m., Vista Center, 2300 North Jog Road, West Palm Beach.

Republican candidate for Governor Adam Putnam will join supporters in Hillsborough County at a Joint Republican Club Meeting. That’s at 7 p.m., Carrollwood Country Club, 13903 Clubhouse Drive, Tampa.

State candidates, political committees and parties face a Tuesday deadline for filing reports showing finance activity through March 31.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also the publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was 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.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

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