Last Call for 11.1.21 — 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

Tomorrow is Election Day in cities and counties across the state.

It’s also Election Day in Florida’s 20th Congressional District, where 11 Democrats are vying to succeed the late U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings.

The field includes five current elected officials, including three state lawmakers, who resigned their seats for a shot at succeeding Hastings in the South Florida-based seat.

A new poll published by Pro-Israel America and conducted Expedition Strategies shows that none of them — Sen. Perry Thurston and Reps. Bobby DuBose and Omari Hardy — may win the race. Trinity Health Care Services CEO Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick is the current leader with 16% of the vote, followed by Broward County Commissioners Dale Holness and Barbara Sharief at 14% and 13%, respectively.

Of the state lawmakers, only Thurston registers double-digit support.

The winner of Tuesday’s contest will still need to win a General Election in January, though the district’s partisan lean virtually ensures that the Democratic nominee will be a shoo-in to replace Hastings.

Elsewhere in the state, St. Petersburg voters will choose whether Pinellas County Commissioner Ken Welch and St. Petersburg City Council member Robert Blackmon will succeed the term-limited Rick Kriseman as Mayor. And in Miami, incumbent Francis Suarez faces four challengers in his quest for a second term.

Numerous other elections will decide the direction city and county governments will take over the next four years. Tune into Florida Politics Tuesday for up-to-the-minute coverage of races up and down the ballot.


RepresentUS hosted a pizza party in Tallahassee on Monday. Kind of.

The group held an event alongside faith leaders and a member of the League of Women Voters of Tallahassee Board to call on lawmakers to handle redistricting in a bipartisan, fair and transparent process.

They outlined their wants with pizza from Gerry’s Partisan Pizza Truck — a food truck that serves up slices with a side of gerrymandering education.

“Using pizza, we are showing how politicians slice up districts to their own advantage, so they can get a larger piece of the pie. The people of Florida deserve a redistricting process that is fair, transparent and accountable,” said Joe Kabourek, Senior Campaign Director with RepresentUS.

The analogy, outlined in a two-minute video, compares picking pizza toppings with politicians picking their voters during reapportionment. Imagine if black olives and pepperoni were Republicans and Democrats, and one party jammed all the pepperoni onto a single slice — tasty, sure, but not an accurate representation of the electorate.

“People hate gerrymandering as much as they love pizza. Using pizza, we can show how politicians create half-baked maps that leave voters without any meaningful opportunity to hold their politicians accountable,” Kabourek said.

To watch the video, click on the image below:

Evening Reads

‘Toddler in a crappy diaper’: Evan Jenne defends Chris Sprowls, jabs at critics” via Jason Delgado of Florida Politics

America has lost the plot on COVID-19” via Sarah Zhang of The Atlantic

National climate pledges are too weak to avoid catastrophic warming. Most countries are on track to miss them anyway.” via Harry Stevens and Brady Dennis of The Washington Post

Young people are over Democrats — and Republicans — new data show: What that means for 2022” via Noah Pransky of NBC LX

Before the final frame: When police missteps create danger” via Robin Stein, Haley Willis, Brenna Smith, Natalie Reneau, Rumsey Taylor, David Kirkpatrick, Steve Eder, Kim Barker and Michael Beswetherick of The New York Times

Virginia went big for Joe Biden, but on eve of another pivotal election, many voters say Democrats have not delivered for them” via Cleve R. Wootson of The Washington Post

House Democrats demand public input mechanism for redistricting” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics

Leading House Dem: Republicans will scale back Ron DeSantis’ vaccine mandate ban” via Renzo Downey of Florida Politics

Annette Taddeo, Carlos Guillermo Smith refile bills for tax-free Small Business Saturday” via Jesse Scheckner of Florida Politics

Nursing homes ponder staffing mandates as direct care costs increase” via Christine Sexton of Florida Politics

Could Zillow buy the neighborhood?” via Jerusalem Demsas of Vox

Quote of the Day

“People do things like this to cover up from the fact that they’re not very good at their job. … You got a toddler in a crappy diaper, trying to make a mess and trying to smear crap on the walls.” — House Democratic Co-Leader Evan Jenne, criticizing Rep. Anthony Sabatini for calling House Speaker Chris Sprowls a “RINO.”

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