Last Call for 6.1.21 — 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

Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried made her bid for the governorship official Tuesday.

Fried dropped a video on Twitter calling herself “something new” for Florida. The video suggested a campaign platform of expanding Medicaid, increasing the minimum wage, improving education, fighting for racial justice and legalizing marijuana.

The only Florida Democrat currently holding statewide office, Fried faces U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, a St. Petersburg Democrat and former Republican Governor. Crist launched his campaign last month.

And while Fried starts the campaign flush with cash for a Florida Democrat, she has nearly $1.5 million available in her Florida Consumers First committee compared to around $750,000 in the bank for Friends of Charlie Crist, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis dwarfs both candidates. DeSantis raised more than $5 million in May alone after reporting $14 million in contributions in April.

Toppling DeSantis, a regular on the national political stage through his late-night cable news appearances, will be a tall order for whoever wins the nomination and Democratic voters, so far, might be favoring Crist as the challenger. A St. Pete Polls survey gave Crist a decisive edge over Fried: 55%-22% among likely Democratic voters.

The main takeaway from that poll was that Democrats, by a wide margin, don’t believe Fried can beat DeSantis. Asked about Crist’s chances of beating DeSantis, about 30% of voters give the Congressman better than even odds to unseat the Republican incumbent. Only 14% of Florida Democrats expect that Fried could beat DeSantis.

But Fried hasn’t officially been in the race as long as Crist, who announced back in early May. With this announcement, she will now put her message to Florida voters. 

Coronavirus Numbers

Positive cases:

— 2,283,315 FL residents (+5,845 since May 28)

— 43,440 Non-FL residents (+92 since May 28)


— 18,709 Travel related

— 918,909 Contact with a confirmed case

— 24,914 Both

— 1,320,783 Under investigation


— 95,210 in FL


— 37,609 in FL


— 17,856,173 Doses administered

— 10,344,328 Total people vaccinated

— 2,021,427 First dose

— 811,056 Completed one-dose series (+25,358 since May 28)

— 7,511,845 Completed two-dose series (+109,665 since May 28)

Evening Reads

How the world ran out of everything” via Peter S. Goodman and Niraj Chokshi of The New York Times

Everything’s becoming a subscription, and the pandemic is partly to blame” via Heather Long and Andrew Van Dam of The Washington Post

Amazon faced 75,000 arbitration demands. Now it says: Fine, sue us” via Sara Randazzo of The Wall Street Journal

Gov. Ron DeSantis signs bill banning transgender athletes from participating in women’s sports” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics

Democrats blast transgender athlete ban” via Jason Delgado of Florida Politics

Nikki Fried, Florida’s lone statewide elected Democrat, is running for Governor” via Samantha J. Gross of the Miami Herald

Fried needs to tack left if she wants to replace DeSantis” via Mac Stipanovich for the Tampa Bay Times

Attempts to ban teaching on ‘critical race theory’ multiply across the U.S.” via Daniel C. Vock of the Florida Phoenix

To veto or not to veto: Five tough decisions facing DeSantis” via Peter Schorsch of Florida Politics

Workers should have the power to say ‘no’” via Annie Lowrey of The Atlantic

Ashley Moody wants quick action in immigration appeal” via Jim Saunders of News Service of Florida

On Pre-K, America should follow Florida’s lead … and Florida should do better” via Scott Maxwell of the Orlando Sentinel

How should Florida teach civics? You’re invited to chime in.” via Jeffrey S. Solochek of the Tampa Bay Times

80% of cruise enthusiasts would prefer to sail with vaccine requirement” via Ron Hurtibise of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Clock is running for 2022 candidates in Northeast Florida” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics

Quote of the Day

“Let’s be very clear: Gov. DeSantis and the GOP are attacking trans kids on the first day of Pride Month to solve a problem that doesn’t exist.” — House Democratic Co-Leader Bobby DuBose, on the transgender athlete ban.

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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, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Kelly Hayes, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Andrew Wilson, Wes Wolfe, and Mike Wright.

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