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Last Call for 10.20.20 — 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

On Tuesday, a coalition of progressive groups announced a new initiative aimed at boosting voter confidence and turnout in historically low turnout precincts across the state. 

The Coalition for Black and Brown Ballot Access is a partnership between PoderLatinx, Equal Ground Education Fund, Black voters Matter Florida, and Hispanic Federation Florida.

“Florida is not just a state that is won at the margins, but it is also a state that regularly sees attempts at voter suppression in Black and Brown communities. Especially during this pandemic, it is imperative that we work to ensure that folks are confident about their ability to cast their vote,” said Phillip Jerez, campaign manager for the Coalition for Black and Brown Ballot Access.

“From Miami-Dade to Jackson County and across every corner of the state, we’re going to make sure that voters feel confident in not only their ability to vote, but that their vote is counted and will fight so that the right to vote for everyone is protected during the most critical election of our lifetime.” 

Over the next two weeks, the coalition will target digital and mobile ads at Black and Brown voters in precincts that have underperformed or where there is a high level of voter disenfranchisement. It is also rolling out a ballot curing program that will reach out to voters whose ballots were rejected so those voters can fix the issue and make sure their vote counts.

“We’re working as a collective voice of trusted messengers within our community to help eliminate mistrust and misinformation surrounding the vote by mail process. For Black and Brown voters, voting by mail or delivering votes to a dropbox shouldn’t be met with fear and skepticism. It’s safe and can be tracked through your SOE,” Black voters Matter state coordinator Rhyane Wagner said.

Hispanic Federation Florida and Southeast Director Yanidsi Velez added, “Hispanic Federation values the power of the vote and recognizes that Black and Latino communities have faced historical obstacles in having our votes counted. Unfortunately, many in our communities continue to experience voter suppression, misinformation, and for the Latino community specifically, a lack of access to Spanish language election materials. This is why Hispanic Federation joins these voter protection efforts as a member of The Coalition for Black and Brown Ballot Access.”


Today saw another $600K in ad buys made in congressional and state legislative contests across Florida. Here’s a preview of what you can expect to see while channel surfing.

SD 9: FDLCC 3 PAC, supporting Patricia Sigman and other Democratic Senate candidates, spent $42K on a broadcast flight running Wednesday and Thursday. The committee has now spent $2.08M this cycle. The GOP committee backing Republican Jason Brodeur has spent $3.63M.

CD 7: Republican Leo Valentin added $3K to a cable buy running Oct. 20-26. The money will put his ads on the WAPA network. He has now spent $161K on ads this cycle. Democratic U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy has spent $66K.

CD 15: Democrat Alan Cohn made a $97K buy to run ads on broadcast and cable through Oct. 26. The DCCC added $24K to its pro-Cohn broadcast buy running through the same date. Also, Republican Scott Franklin put down $75K for a broadcast buy running through Oct. 27. Cohn has now spent $766K on ads while Franklin has spent $549K.

CD 16: Republican U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan made a $199K broadcast and cable buy running today through Oct. 26 — $170K heads to broadcast, and $29K will be used to air ads on CNN and FXNC. Buchanan has spent $1.37M so far, while Democratic challenger Margaret Good has spent $1.39M.

CD 18: Democrat Pam Keith spent $43K on a broadcast and cable flight running today and Wednesday. The buy brings her total for the election to $673K. Republican U.S. Rep. Brian Mast has spent $1.15M to date.

CD 21: American Liberty Fund made a $142K buy for ads supporting Republican Laura Loomer. The buy includes $100K for broadcast and $42K for radio, with both flights lasting through Election Day. American Liberty Fund has spent $156K this cycle. Democratic U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel has spent $349K.

Coronavirus Numbers

Positive cases:

— 750,739 FL residents (+3,556since Monday)

— 9,650 Non-FL residents (+6 since Monday)


— 6,589 Travel related

— 281,113 Contact with a confirmed case

— 7,070 Both

— 455,967 Under investigation


— 47,352 in FL


— 16,308 in FL

Evening Reads

Voters prefer Joe Biden over Donald Trump on almost all major issues, poll shows” via Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin of The New York Times

Biden has narrow lead over Trump in new Florida poll” via Zac Anderson of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Will Florida, the Recount State, be ready for the election?” via Patricia Mazzei and Frances Robles of The New York Times

Trump says he’s ‘way up’ over Biden in Florida” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics

Biden the ‘socialist’ vs. Trump the ‘caudillo’: The battle for the Venezuelan vote” via Jesús Rodriguez of POLITICO

Central Florida women could sway 2020 election. Meet 8 of them” via Ryan Gillespie and Annie Martin of the Orlando Sentinel

2 weeks from Nov. 3: Could election hinge on people with no party affiliation and GOP defectors to Biden?” via Michael Moline of the Florida Phoenix

Spanish-language ads launch in Florida making case for Biden’s America” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics

Post-ABC poll: Trump and Biden are in a dead heat in North Carolina” via Dan Balz, Scott Clement and Emily Guskin of The Washington Post

Former RNC chairman Michael Steele formally endorses Biden” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics

Uniformed Miami cop spotted wearing pro-Trump mask near voting site will be disciplined” via Charles Rabin of the Miami Herald

Gov. DeSantis blasts teachers union at charter school COVID-19 victory lap” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics

Attack ad misleads about Miami Democrat Nick Duran’s assets” via Alexi Cardona of the Miami New Times

Anti-Trump group targets Marco Rubio with $450,000 ad buy in Florida on Supreme Court” via Francesca Chambers of the Miami Herald

Courts seek money to dig out of pandemic ‘hole’” via Dara Kam of News Service of Florida

Florida adds 3,662 coronavirus cases, 86 deaths Tuesday” via Romy Ellenbogen of the Tampa Bay Times

Quote of the Day

“Whatever the future may hold, school closures should be off the table.” — Gov. Ron DeSantis, arguing school reopenings have been a success.

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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.

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