Last Call for 2.9.21 — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics

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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 Republican Lieutenant Governors Association has named Lt. Gov. Jeanette Núñez as its Chair for the 2021 election cycle.

Nuñez had previously served as Vice-Chair of the RLGA Executive Committee, where she helped the Republican State Leadership Committee break fundraising records and secure victories for GOP Lieutenant Governor candidates in North Carolina and Utah.

RLGA also gives Nuñez a share of the credit in Republicans’ success in Florida, which shifted toward the GOP last cycle in elections for both state and federal offices.

“In 2020, our team played a crucial role shaping the future of America in key Lieutenant Governor races from North Carolina to Montana, and now our focus shifts to the 32 elections across the country over the next two years,” Nuñez said. “The onslaught of liberal spending in the states will be challenging; however, I’m eager to start leading the RLGA efforts to ensure Republicans have the support they need for success.”

Nuñez was elected alongside Gov. Ron DeSantis in 2018, becoming Florida’s first Hispanic female Lieutenant Governor. She previously served eight years in the state House and was named Speaker Pro Tempore in her final term.

“The RSLC and RLGA are committed to developing the Republican leaders of tomorrow, and Lt. Gov. Nuñez is a trailblazer and prime example of a state Republican who has a long future ahead of her in national politics,” RSLC President Dee Duncan said.

“A key player in the historic success we achieved in 2020, her ability to build winning coalitions and her outreach to the Hispanic community, in particular, has been critical. I’m confident Lt. Gov. Núñez will continue to be one of our organization’s strongest assets, and we are lucky to have her chairing the RLGA this cycle.”

Coronavirus Numbers

Positive cases:

— 1,758,254 FL residents (+6,911 since Monday)

— 32,489 Non-FL residents (+112 since Monday)

Origin:

— 14,243 Travel related

— 666,067 Contact with a confirmed case

— 19,416 Both

— 1,058,528 Under investigation

Hospitalizations:

— 74,884 in FL

Deaths:

— 28,526 in FL

Vaccinations:

— 2,813,488 Doses administered

— 2,057,154 Total people vaccinated

— 1,300,820 First dose

— 756,334 Series completed (+62,469 since Monday)

Evening Reads

Donald Trump’s historic 2nd trial opens with jarring video of siege” via Lisa Mascaro, Eric Tucker, Mary Clare Jalonick and Jill Colvin of The Associated Press

Joe Biden’s strategy for Trump’s impeachment: Sit back and STFU” via Natasha Korecki of POLITICO

One of Trump’s lawyers sued him last year — and accused him of making claims about fraud with ‘no evidence’” via Amy Gardner of The Washington Post

‘Its own domestic army’: How the GOP allied itself with militants” via David D. Kirkpatrick and Mike McIntire of The New York Times

Marco Rubio and Rick Scott confront new reality in Senate minority” via Samantha Jo Roth of Spectrum News 13

Florida coronavirus vaccines to start at Walmart, Winn-Dixie, expand at Publix” via Allison Ross, Langston Taylor and Sara DiNatale of the Tampa Bay Times

Ron DeSantis highlights Biden COVID-19 pharmacy vaccination plan” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics

FL Dems renew calls for Medicaid expansion, letting voters decide” via Laura Cassels of the Florida Phoenix

Alcee Hastings proposal would radically change U.S. elections — including adding members of Congress and increasing size of Electoral College” via Anthony Man of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Did you have trouble getting a COVID-19 vaccine in Florida? So did Stephen King” via Wade Tatangelo and Jimmy Geurts of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Vaccinating Florida’s seniors at Miami’s largest hospital” via Kelli Kennedy of The Associated Press

Florida reports another 7K COVID-19 infections, 478 new deaths” via Florida Politics

No indecision: Florida sees low ballot rejection rate amid COVID-19” via Gary Fineout of POLITICO

The Florida Legislative Black Caucus unveils sweeping police reform package” via Jason Delgado of Florida Politics

Rebekah Jones drops lawsuit against state of Florida, plans to refile” via Mary Ellen Klas of the Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald

Academic diversity bill clears second Senate committee” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics

Jason Brodeur wants Florida to adopt stricter pet sale laws” via Renzo Downey of Florida Politics

Lauren Book brings back Senate bill eliminating Confederate holidays” via Ryan Nicol of Florida Politics

At Disney characters union, lawsuit seeks end to takeover” via Mike Schneider of The Associated Press

Lost in the applause was the man responsible for the Bucs’ Super Bowl” via John Romano of the Tampa Bay Times

Quote of the Day

“For many of us, the reality is we live in two Americas, two Floridas. One Florida has families telling their kids to trust and look for the police when they’re in trouble. The other Florida has communities that are fearful of law enforcement officers.” — House Democratic Co-Leader Bobby Dubose, unveiling the Florida Legislative Black Caucus police reform package.

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