Last Call for 8.15.22 — 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

U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist is throwing another $627,160 into broadcast ads ahead of the Democratic Primary for Governor.

According to AdImpact, the new flight covers ads that will begin running statewide tomorrow and continue through Aug. 22.

The buy spans seven media markets. At $191,345, the Orlando media market is getting the most attention. Miami follows at $170,805, then Jacksonville at $105,935, West Palm Beach at $105,260 and Tampa at $59,105.

The campaign also put a couple of thousand dollars into the Ft. Meyers and Panama City markets. 

To date, Crist’s campaign and political committee, Friends of Charlie Crist, have spent about $4 million on ads combined. His chief Primary opponent, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, has spent about half as much between her campaign and committee accounts.

Despite not hitting the airwaves until the past few weeks, Gov. Ron DeSantis has already spent more than $6 million on ads — or nearly as much as both Crist and Fried combined.


Fried’s gubernatorial campaign has released its final TV ad ahead of the Democratic Primary for Governor.

The ad will be familiar to those who have been following the creative coming out of Fried’s campaign — it’s a one-minute version of a prior ad highlighting key moments in the history of women’s rights in America.

It features images of historical women’s rights advocates such as Alice Paul and Carrie Chapman Catt, the match point from Billie Jean King’s defeat of Bobby Riggs in the 1970s and notable woman politicians such as U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the recently deceased Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The images run-up to the present day, with scenes from protests spurred by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. 

The ad’s backing track is “I Won’t Back Down” by Tom Petty, a Florida native whose surviving ex-wife, Jane Benyo Petty, has endorsed Fried for Governor.

In a tweet, Fried said the ad will air statewide next Monday — the day before polls close in the Democratic Primary. The campaign said in a news release that the ad “is in sharp contrast to the negativity of Charlie Crist, who has already spent over a million dollars on at least 1,674 negative ads against the only Democrat to win statewide since 2012.”

To watch the ad, please click on the image below:


The Florida Police Chiefs Association is endorsing Attorney General Ashley Moody’s re-election bid, the latest sign that law enforcement wants the Plant City Republican elected for four more years as Florida’s “top cop.”

On Monday, three FPCA leaders made the case for the second-term endorsement.

“On behalf of the Florida Police Chiefs Association, we are honored to endorse Attorney General Ashley Moody for reelection,” said FPCA president and Fellsmere Police Department Chief Keith Touchberry. “General Moody has devoted her entire career to enforcing our laws, preserving the safety of our communities, and upholding the rule of law.”

“General Moody has proven herself as a dedicated public servant who cares about law enforcement officers and their families, and the FPCA looks forward to continuing our work with her on behalf of the people of Florida,” added FPCA first vice president and Clermont Police Department Chief Charles “Chuck” Broadway.

FPCA second vice president and Tampa International Airport Police Department Chief Charlie Vazquez added more detail, citing “Moody’s initiatives like her Be A Florida Hero officer recruitment initiative and #BackTheBlue officer recognition program” as “just a few examples of her leadership on behalf of law enforcement.”

The FPCA backed Moody in 2018 also, endorsing her in a competitive Primary to replace term-limited Pam Bondi. Back then, they noted her experience as a former federal prosecutor and Circuit Court judge. This time around, Moody has no Primary, and she has used the time to reinforce her position for the General Election, collecting endorsements and raising serious money.

Santa Rosa Beach attorney Daniel Uhlfelder, former State Attorney Aramis Ayala and Ft. Lauderdale attorney Jim Lewis are running for the Democratic nomination to replace Moody, and whoever gets the nomination will face a sizable cash deficit from the beginning.

Evening Reads

—“Why the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago can’t escape the divided politics in Florida” via Tom Hudson of WLRN

—“Ron DeSantis gets $150K one-day haul from State Farm agents” via Matt Dixon of POLITICO Florida

—“DeSantis says he wants a Republican legislative supermajority” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics

—“Millions of dollars worth of attack ads pouring into Florida congressional races” via Scott Powers of Florida Politics

—“Giffords gun safety organization launching Florida political group” via Gary Fineout of POLITICO Florida

—“‘You want to go to Congress and do what, steal?’ Accusations fly in Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, Dale Holness rematch” via Anthony Man of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

—“If you donate to this Tampa state Senate candidate, beware the checked box” via William March of the Tampa Bay Times

—“This Broward kindergarten teacher isn’t going to let ‘Don’t Say Gay’ change her lessons” via Jimena Tavel of the Miami Herald

—“The rise of the worker productivity score” via Jodi Kantor and Arya Sundaram of The New York Times

—“Why is airline travel so miserable? Blame Florida” via Micah Maidenberg and Alison Sider of The Wall Street Journal

Quote of the Day

“Despite false assurances from Republican proponents of the Don’t Say LGBTQ Law that its scope would be narrow and its impacts limited to grades K-3, we are witnessing sweeping effects of this intentionally-vague policy across the state.”

— Equality Florida Senior Political Director Joe Saunders, after Duval County schools removed posters, wall decorations and stickers that “support and affirm” LGBTQ students.

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