Last Call for 5.10.21 — 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

Gov. Ron DeSantis will hold a town hall in the Villages that will be broadcast on Newsmax at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

The conservative network announced the exclusive town hall, titled “Leading to Liberty,” on Monday. slating it for 6 p.m. The event will also include former White House press secretary Sean Spicer and Lyndsay Keith, who co-host the network’s Spicer and Co. program.

“Gov. DeSantis has proved his resolve and confounded his skeptics over the past year, leading his state to excellence in fostering a thriving economy, rolling out the COVID vaccine, and guarding religious liberty,” Spicer said. “This town hall will give Newsmax viewers deeper insight into the reasons why DeSantis is a true governor of the people.”

It’s unclear what the substance of the town hall will be or whether there will be any ideological diversity among the attendees.

The framing of the announcement plays into the DeSantis administration’s narrative that Florida has been leading the way in both responding to and recovering from the pandemic.

“The event at The Villages, a sprawling retirement community, will feature discussions with a live studio audience of American voters, an interview with the strong defender of individual liberties, and a focus on how the Sunshine State has set a national standard for navigating the COVID pandemic,” Newsmax said.

Coronavirus Numbers

Positive cases:

— 2,229,567 FL residents (+2,264 since Sunday)

— 42,535 Non-FL residents (+32 since Sunday)


— 17,887 Travel related

— 891,658 Contact with a confirmed case

— 24,252 Both

— 1,295,770 Under investigation


— 92,125 in FL


— 36,498 in FL


— 15,764,313 Doses administered

— 9,311,399 Total people vaccinated

— 2,223,344 First dose

— 635,141 Completed one-dose series (+15,031 since Sunday)

— 6,452,914 Completed two-dose series (+51,956 since Sunday)

Evening Reads

Rick Scott blames Joe Biden, unemployment payments for ‘horrible jobs numbers via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics

Ron DeSantis is on a path to 2024. Democrats hope to head him off.” via Dan Merica of CNN

DeSantis political committee raises nearly $14 million in April” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics

DeSantis will appear in Newsmax town hall” via 10 Tampa Bay

Kathy Castor joins enviros in calling for DeSantis to veto local energy preemption bill” via Bruce Ritchie of POLITICO

‘Absolutely yes’: Ramon Alexander running for 2023-24 House Democratic Leader” via Renzo Downey of Florida Politics

Ben Diamond’s run for Congress was next logical step” via Joe Henderson of Florida Politics

Progressive firm nabs several internet domains for possible Aramis Ayala U.S. Senate bid” via Scott Powers of Florida Politics

How an obscure Texas security company helped convince Americans the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump” via The Washington Post

Why Confederate lies live on” via Clint Smith of The Atlantic

Hillsborough schools avert state takeover with $101 million in bailout funds” via Marlene Sokol of the Tampa Bay Times

Tim Tebow-Urban Meyer reunion on verge of becoming official” via Mark Long of The Associated Press

Quote of the Day

“I want people who need help to get help, but gosh, you can’t have a country where everything is free. Nobody can pay for this.” — U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, blaming unemployment benefits for the weak April jobs report.

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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.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

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