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Last Call for 9.14.20 — 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

BREAKING — After a tense back-and-forth with the Florida Supreme Court Monday, Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed Judge Jamie Grosshans of the 5th District Court of Appeals to fill a vacancy on the state’s highest court. DeSantis had originally chosen Judge Renatha Francis to fill that spot. 


Tim Tebow will be the keynote speaker at the 2020 Annual Human Trafficking Summit, Attorney General Ashley Moody announced Monday.

“I am thrilled to have fellow Gator Tim Tebow as our keynote speaker for this year’s record-breaking Human Trafficking Summit. I commend his selfless work through the Tim Tebow Foundation to bring awareness to this horrific crime,” Moody said.

“His passion to serve and save children from this abuse will change lives. I’m excited for our registrants to hear about the great work his foundation is doing and look forward to the launch of our Summit on Oct. 6.”

The Heisman Trophy winner and two-time college football national champion will lead off the summit, which will be held virtually this year due to the ongoing effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Human Trafficking is the darkest of evils and it is my heart to rally every individual, every resource and every network to come together to create more impact in prevention, rescue, and healing … but, ultimately, to end human trafficking,” said Tebow, whose foundation works to put an end to human trafficking, as well as other initiatives designed to make the lives of children better.

“As my foundation and I elevate our voice and our effort in the fight against human trafficking, I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the State of Florida’s Human Trafficking Summit to stand on the line with others fighting this fight.”

The Summit will launch on Oct. 6 and will be available to access online for 18 months. Hosting the event alongside Moody’s office are the Statewide Council on Human Trafficking, the Florida Department of Children and Families, the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, the Florida Department of Health, the University of Central Florida, the Florida Alliance to End Human Trafficking and the Junior Leagues of Florida State Public Affairs Committee.


Florida Power & Light sent a platoon of lineworkers to Louisiana to help get the power back on after Hurricane Laura thrashed the state. Now, they’re coming home.

During their stay in the Pelican State, FPL crews installed more than 440 poles, 110 transformers and 55 miles of power lines — nearly the same distance as the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens to West Palm Beach.

FPL sent 1,300 employees to the region. Its sister company, Gulf Power, also sent about 80 employees and contractors to support restoration efforts.

It took hard work to get the job done. Crews worked 16-hour days in excessively hot and difficult conditions to restore power in Louisiana and Texas, including the Lake Charles, Louisiana area that was hit hardest by the deadly Category 4 hurricane.

“As Floridians, we know exactly what it’s like to be impacted by a hurricane,” said FPL President and CEO Eric Silagy. “We know that restoring power to a community helps rebuild lives and gives people hope. Our men and women truly demonstrated that by helping rebuild essential parts of the energy grid and showing the people of Louisiana that they have caring hearts.

“I am so proud of our men and women for selflessly leaving their families for an extended period of time, including over the Labor Day holiday, and during a global pandemic to work long, grueling hours to support our fellow Americans in need during these challenging times.”

Coronavirus Numbers

Positive cases:

— 658,203 FL residents (+1,718 since Sunday)

— 7,527 Non-FL residents (+18 since Sunday)


— 5,171 Travel related

— 230,158 Contact with a confirmed case

— 5,487 Both

— 417,387 Under investigation


— 41,374 in FL


— 12,800 in FL

Evening Reads

A tight Donald Trump-Joe Biden race in Florida: Here’s the state of play” via Jonathan Martin and Patricia Mazzei of The New York Times

More cities and states are opening bars and restaurants despite mounting evidence of potential danger” via Rachel Weiner, Chris Alcantara and Andrew Ba Tran of The Washington Post

“‘This is f — ing crazy’: Florida Latinos swamped by wild conspiracy theories” via Sabrina Rodriguez and Marc Caputo of POLITICO

Everything you wanted to know about Florida, but were afraid to ask — the 2020 version” via Steve Schale at

What if Trump loses and won’t leave?” via Geoffrey Skelley of FiveThirtyEight

Oracle deal with TikTok to undergo U.S. national security review” via Aaron Tilley of The Wall Street Journal

Incoming House Speaker credits ‘quality’ recruitment for ‘safe Republican’ forecast” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics

Gov. Ron DeSantis misses Florida Supreme Court’s deadline to appoint new justice” via Gray Rohrer of the Orlando Sentinel

Florida reports the lowest number of COVID-19 cases since early June” via David Fleshler of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

There are five named storms churning in the Atlantic, just the second time that’s ever happened” via Amber Randall of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Florida inches closer to the top 5 in university rankings” via Andrew Atterbury of POLITICO Florida

The IOC should move the 2022 Olympics out of Beijing” via Rick Scott for The Washington Post

Andrew Gillum comes out as bisexual” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics

Florida politicians react to Gillum revealing his bisexuality on ‘Tamron Hall Show’” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics

From a stable job to a tent: A waiter’s homeless struggle” via Kelli Kennedy of The Associated Press

Scientists spot potential sign of life in Venus atmosphere” via Marisa Iati and Joel Achenbach of The Washington Post

Quote of the Day

“I identify as bisexual.” — Andrew Gillum, in his interview with Tamron Hall.

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