Last Call for 7.30.20 — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics

A digest of the day's politics and policy while the bartender refreshes your drink.

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

First Shot

The political arm of the National Federation of Independent Businesses endorsed candidates in 16 state legislative races Thursday.

Four Senate candidates made the cut in NFIB Florida PAC’s first round of endorsements. They include Republicans Jennifer Bradley in SD 5, former Rep. Jim Boyd in SD 21, Rep. Ray Rodrigues in SD 27 and Democratic Rep. Shevrin Jones in SD 35.

Victory is all but assured for Bradley and Boyd — both are running in open, reliably red districts. Rodrigues and Jones, however, are running in competitive primaries.


In the House, NFIB gave the nod to Republican Reps. Mike Hill, Alex Andrade, Jay Trumbull, Clay Yarborough, Scott Plakon, Thad Altman, Randy Fine, Spencer Roach and Danny Perez as well as Democratic Rep. Bobby DuBose.

Most in the set are considered safe, though a few have drawn competitive challengers. Most notably, Hill is going up against Michelle Salzman in the Aug. 18 primary and many influential Northwest Florida Republicans have lined up behind her effort to send the incumbent packing.

NFIB Florida PAC also gave its approval to two newcomers: Republicans Joe Harding in HD 22 and Tom Fabricio in HD 103.

Harding is seeking the seat currently held by term-limited Rep. Charlie Stone while Fabricio is looking to oust Democratic Rep. Cindy Polo, assuming he earns the GOP nomination.

“Our members support the candidates who support small businesses,” NFIB State Executive Director Bill Herrle said. “These candidates understand the challenges facing Florida’s small businesses and will do everything they can to create an environment where stores and other businesses can fully reopen and people can get back to work.”

The NFIB endorsements were based on the candidates’ positions and records on small-business issues.

Coronavirus Numbers

Positive cases:

— 456,105 FL residents (+9,854 since Wednesday)

— 5,274 Non-FL residents (+102 since Wednesday)


— 3,601 Travel related

— 122,984 Contact with a confirmed case

— 3,592 Both

— 325,928 Under investigation


— 26,017 in FL


— 6,709 in FL

Unemployment numbers

As of Wednesday:

Total claims: 3,387,374

— Confirmed unique claims: 3,186,746

— Claim verification queue: 73,009

— Claims processed: 3,113,737

— Claims paid: 1,812,494 (+5,819 since Tuesday)

Total paid out: $12.22 billion (+$170 million since Tuesday)

Evening Reads

U.S. suffered worst quarterly contraction on record as virus ravages economy” via Ben White of POLITICO

This recession is already deep. If Congress fails to act, a lot of damage could be permanent.” via Heather Long of The Washington Post

Republicans openly challenge Donald Trump’s tweet on delaying election” via Clare Foran and Manu Raju of CNN

Trump can’t postpone the election — but he’s trying to destroy its legitimacy” via David A. Graham of The Atlantic

The gulf between Republicans and Democrats on coronavirus aid, in 9 charts” via Alicia Parlapiano of The New York Times

Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain dies after battle with COVID-19” via Nicholas Wu of USA Today

John Lewis mourned as ‘founding father’ of ‘better America’” via Jeff Martin of The Associated Press

Families file first wave of COVID-19 lawsuits against companies over worker deaths” via Janet Adamy of The Wall Street Journal

Another record-breaking day: 253 Floridians reported dead with COVID-19” via the staff of Florida Politics

South Florida sets another daily record with 109 deaths” via Ryan Nicol of Florida Politics

More than 45,000 in Southwest Florida have tested positive for COVID-19” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics

Ron DeSantis raises funds for Trump in advance of Florida events” via Gary Fineout of POLITICO Florida

’I would rather be Trump than Joe Biden.’ Why Florida should be close in 2020, despite polls” via David Smiley of the Miami Herald

Technical foul! Rick Scott slams NBA on China ties” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics

‘It wasn’t fair’: Tallahassee bar owner throws in the towel after state-mandated shutdowns” via Jason Delgado of Florida Politics

Quote of the Day

“Since 1845, we’ve had an election on the first Tuesday after November 1st and we’re going to have one again this year.” — U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, in response to Donald Trump’s call to delay the election.

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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.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Jason Delgado, Drew Dixon, Renzo Downey, Rick Flagg, A.G. Gancarski, Joe Henderson, Janelle Irwin, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Andrew Wilson, and Kelly Hayes.

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