Last Call — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics.
Ed. Note — In honor of Veterans Day, Sunburn will be taking the day off. The morning must-read of what’s hot in Florida politics will be back in your inboxes Monday morning. And to all veterans — thank you for your service. Have a great weekend, and please, stay safe.
After we published our list of the Winners and Losers emerging from Florida’s Midterm Elections, several of our readers made worthwhile suggestions. We added these choices to the big rundown, but wanted to highlight the additions here because they were not there in the first version that went to our RSS feed, etc.
Ben Diamond — Diamond dropped from the race for Florida’s 13th Congressional District after it became clear the district would favor the GOP. It was a smart move and let him avoid a drubbing. With the Midterm now in the rearview for the district and 2024 on the horizon, Diamond should now be national Democrats’ top recruit to win the district back in a presidential year, when higher turnout and better Democratic participation could yield better success.
Brendan Olsen — For all of the wins Eric Johnson enjoyed, Olsen was right there with him for most. So, he deserves a shoutout, too.
Spectrum News — Turns out, not all that surprisingly, that contentious elections are good for ratings. Spectrum News’ Decision 2022 Election Night coverage saw a 120% increase over the previous 30-day average in household viewership in the 8 p.m. to midnight time slot in its 12 markets — Austin, Charlotte, Greensboro, New York City, Orlando, Raleigh, San Antonio, Tampa, Cleveland, Columbus, Los Angeles and Dallas. That increase was nearly double the increase the cable outlet saw in 2020. In Tampa, numbers were even better, with a 202% household viewership increase during the same time slot.
Justin Ishbia — The billionaire sicced super PAC Progress Pinellas on Anna Paulina Luna in a clear effort to help his first cousin, Eric Lynn. What did more than $9 million in independent expenditures get him? A nine-point loss in a district Trump won in 2020 by seven. Luna ahead of the Primary promised the millions being spent to drown out her candidacy would be set on fire. Writing checks like this surely burned.
Dan Newman — After getting tied up in the “ghost” candidate investigation surrounding the effort to unseat Sen. José Javier Rodríguez in 2020, Newman needed some wins this cycle to distract from the scandal. He didn’t get them. Instead, his major losses include Janet Cruz’s upset in her Tampa-based Senate district and Andrew Learned in his east Hillsborough-based House district, losses that handed over two seats to the GOP.
Stephen Ross — The Miami Dolphins owner and developer suffered a major blow Tuesday night when voters rejected ballot questions that would have allowed him to redevelop the former Deauville Beach Resort site and lease city-owned parking lots. Ross spent more than $1 million on the campaign to pass the ballot questions. Only one passed, but it’s rendered moot as the other two related to the development failed. We’d say that’s money not well-spent.
Susie Wiles — Pundits are piling up to blame Donald Trump for the GOP’s underperformance in U.S. Senate races (see Dr. Oz in Pennsylvania and Herschel Walker in Georgia, among others), attributing losses to propping up weak candidates. But behind the curtain is Wiles, a top Trump adviser who was behind many of his endorsements this cycle. Insiders worry that if this trend continues, it will weaken the GOP’s chances to make needed gains in the never-ending fight for power and relevance in Washington.
—“How Florida, the nation’s biggest swing state, turned deep red” via Emily L. Mahoney and Kirby Wilson of the Tampa Bay Times
—“The 5 things Donald Trump’s potential 2024 rivals are thinking about right now” via Alex Isenstadt of POLITICO
—“Markets soar on signs of slower inflation” via Joe Rennison of The New York Times
—“Civil rights groups say Midterms prove unfairness of Florida’s congressional map” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics
—“Kari Lake ‘flattered’ by links to possible Ron DeSantis 2024 ticket” via Ryan King of the Washington Examiner
—“Tropical Storm Nicole leaving Florida with collapsed homes, roads and four deaths” via David Fleshler of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel
—“Artemis I endures 100 mph gust on launch pad during Nicole landfall” via Richard Tribou of the Orlando Sentinel
—“At U.N. conference, Nancy Pelosi, Kathy Castor tout ‘real concrete action’ on billions of climate projects” via Mitch Perry of the Florida Phoenix
—“As Florida Democrats confront losses, Tampa organizers are undeterred” via Lauren Peace of the Tampa Bay Times
—“What does $100K buy you in Bonita Springs? Not a City Council seat” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics
—“Miami-Dade Mayor vetoes project near Biscayne Bay, citing Hurricane Ian and flood risks” via Douglas Hawks of the Miami Herald
—“Miami to debut NFTs ahead of holiday season following crypto spiral, FTX bankruptcy risk” via Jesse Scheckner of Florida Politics
—“Section of destroyed shuttle Challenger found on ocean floor” via Marcia Dunn of The Associated Press
—“America’s deadliest road, explained” via Vox | YouTube
Quote of the Day
“The job President (Donald) Trump started was not finished. Only Trump can be trusted to enact the ‘America First’ agenda he ran on in 2016.”
— U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz on Republicans’ 2024 nominee.
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