Last Call for 9.23.20 — 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

Election Day is less than six weeks away, and that means the ad money is flowing, not just for the presidential contest at the top of the ticket, but in congressional races across the state.

On Wednesday alone, congressional candidates spent nearly $350,000 buying time on broadcast and cable stations in three media markets.

The most significant buy was in Florida’s 27th Congressional District, where Democratic U.S. Rep. Donna Shalala paid $140,000 for a flight in the Miami market. Her ads will air on about two-thirds of the market’s broadcast stations starting today and running through Sept. 29.

Candidates running for Florida’s 4th Congressional District accounted for another six figures in ad buys.

Most of the spending came from Democratic nominee Donna Deegan, who put down another $85,000 for broadcast ads running in the Jacksonville market through Election Day. Meanwhile, Republican U.S. Rep. John Rutherford expanded his weekly flight with another $22,000.

Including the new buys, Deegan has outspent Rutherford by $53,000 this cycle, though she faces an uphill battle to win the safely Republican seat.

Also, in Florida’s 7th Congressional District, Republican nominee Leo Valentin launched a new broadcast flight and backed it with $91,000. The purchase will keep him on the air in the Orlando area through Oct. 11 as he attempts to flip the Democratic-leaning seat away from U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy.

Coronavirus Numbers

Positive cases:

— 682,370 FL residents (+2,594 since Tuesday)

— 8,129 Non-FL residents (+4 since Tuesday)


— 5,539 Travel related

— 245,148 Contact with a confirmed case

— 5,810 Both:

— 425,873 Under investigation


— 42,941 in FL


— 13,782 in FL

Evening Reads

The election that could break America” via Barton Gellman of The Atlantic

Amid push for Latino voters, Donald Trump decries socialism at Bay of Pigs event” via Nick Niedzwiadek of POLITICO

Rick Scott says Mike Bloomberg’s money can’t save Joe Biden in Florida” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics

Telemundo anchor rebuts misleading tweet posted by Eric Trump” via Quint Forgey of POLITICO

Ron DeSantis denies pardon for Desmond Meade, who championed Florida’s fight for ex-felon voting” via Dara Kam of The News Service of Florida

Florida declares school reopening an ‘overwhelming success’” via Andrew Atterbury of POLITICO Florida

Elizabeth Fetterhoff, Patrick Henry stress bipartisan messaging in battleground HD 26” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics

Quote of the Day

“After preliminarily reviewing this limited public information and law, it appears further investigation is warranted. Accordingly, I request your agencies further investigate this matter and take appropriate steps as merited.” — Attorney General Ashley Moody, greenlighting an investigation into allegations of bribery and vote-buying against billionaire Michael Bloomberg.

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Breakthrough Insights

Staff Reports


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, Renzo Downey, Rick Flagg, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Joe Henderson, Janelle Irwin, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Jesse Scheckner, Scott Powers, Andrew Wilson, and Kelly Hayes.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

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