Last Call for 5.4.21 — 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

Ed. Note — Sunburn will be taking a hard-earned post-Session break tomorrow. Don’t fear; the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics will return to inboxes on Thursday morning. Thanks for your support.

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U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist has officially entered the race for Governor, but one of his Delegation colleagues edged closer to making an announcement of her own.

Tuesday morning, hours ahead of Crist’s announcement event, U.S. Rep. Val Demings posted a sizzle reel on Twitter.

The 90-second video highlights her origin story as the daughter of a maid and a janitor and her long career in public service, from law enforcement officer to Orlando’s first woman Police Chief to U.S. Representative for Florida’s 10th Congressional District.

The spot features footage of Demings speaking interspersed with reporters chronicling her quick rise to prominence in Congress.

Notably, the Orlando Democrat served as one of the House impeachment managers during Donald Trump’s first Senate trial. Her performance garnered national attention and she was considered a top-tier contender to be President Joe Biden’s running mate last year.

Demings has so far been coy about her 2022 plans. During a CBS News interview just two days ago, she was asked directly whether she was planning to challenge DeSantis or U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio next year. She wouldn’t specify, only saying she is “strongly considering a statewide race.”

The timing of her video release, however, could be seen as an attempt to draw attention away from Crist ahead of her own gubernatorial campaign launch.

So far, Crist is the only Democrat to make his candidacy official. Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, Florida’s only statewide elected Democrat, is widely expected to enter the race.

Demings will likely face a formidable primary challenger even if she runs for Senate. In that race, Winter Park Democratic U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy has been laying the groundwork for a run.

Coronavirus Numbers

Positive cases:

— 2,207,422 FL residents (+3,615 since Monday)

— 42,113 Non-FL residents (+67 since Monday)

Origin:

— 17,711 Travel related

— 881,426 Contact with a confirmed case

— 24,050 Both

— 1,284,235 Under investigation

Hospitalizations:

— 91,169 in FL

Deaths:

— 37,102 in FL

Vaccinations:

— 14,815,858 Doses administered

— 8,959,355 Total people vaccinated

— 2,538,877 First dose

— 563,975 Completed one-dose series (+4,924 since Monday)

— 5,856,503 Completed two-dose series (+67,615 since Monday)

Evening Reads

Joe Biden to set new goal of 70 percent of Americans getting at least one vaccine dose by July 4” via Tyler Pager and Yasmeen Abutaleb of The Washington Post

U.S. vaccinations are slowing. What’s to blame?” via Josh Holder and Amy Schoenfeld Walker of The New York Times

The liberals who can’t quit lockdown” via Emma Green of The Atlantic

Biden’s great economic rebalancing” via John Cassidy of The New Yorker

Inside ‘Facebook Jail’: The secret rules that put users in the doghouse” via Kristen Grind of The Wall Street Journal

The booming U.S. recovery is leaving some communities completely behind” via Andre Tartar, Olivia Rockeman, Christopher Cannon and Catarina Saraiva of Bloomberg

Once more unto the breach, Charlie Crist, once more” via Peter Schorsch of Florida Politics

‘Florida for all’: Crist announces 2022 run for Governor” via Kelly Hayes of Florida Politics

Crist and the fundamental fairness movement” via Scott Powers of Florida Politics

Democrats rally for Ron DeSantis takedown, as Crist officially enters Governor’s race” via Janelle Irwin Taylor of Florida Politics

Ron DeSantis challenges party-flipping Crist ahead of campaign kickoff” via Renzo Downey of Florida Politics

Gov. DeSantis sets election dates for voters to replace Alcee Hastings” via Anthony Man of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

What we know about Gov. DeSantis’ executive order suspending local COVID-19 restrictions” via Allison Ross of the Tampa Bay Times

Reported COVID-19 variant cases in Florida doubled in two weeks” via Kate Santich and Cindy Krischer Goodman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Annette Taddeo joins local activists to slam ‘horrible’ 2021 Session” via Ryan Nicol of Florida Politics

South Florida schools say state order does not apply, masks still required in schools” via Michelle Marchante, Colleen Wright and Gwen Filosa of the Miami Herald

Disney World’s Star Wars hotel opening delayed; no sign of annual passes returning yet” via Gabrielle Russon of the Orlando Sentinel

Quote of the Day

“Florida has a Governor that’s only focused on his future, not yours. While COVID-19 took the lives of 35,000 Floridians, DeSantis attacked doctors and scientists. DeSantis is stripping away your voting rights. He’s against a $15 minimum wage. He doesn’t believe in background checks for guns, doesn’t believe in a woman’s right to choose, doesn’t listen, doesn’t care. And unless you can write him a campaign check, you don’t exist.” — U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, announcing his campaign for Governor.

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