Last Call for 8.31.23 — 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.

Ed. Note — After Hurricane Idalia cut through the Gulf Coast and North Florida, Sunburn is taking one more night off. Don’t worry; the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics will be back in your inbox on Tuesday!

Thanks for your support, and — wherever you are — please, stay safe! And Happy Labor Day!

First Shot

The Big Bend’s stretch of Interstate 10 is back up and running, the Florida Department of Transportation announced Thursday.

FDOT said its crews worked “tirelessly” to clear a 15-mile section of the highway within Madison County. An estimated 10,000 downed trees were cleared from the roadway, with 27 four-person crews focusing on the travel lanes.

The department said the highway was clear by 7 p.m. on Wednesday, just 12 hours after the crews were deployed.

“I’m incredibly proud of the work our FDOT team has accomplished in the past 24 hours to ensure roads and bridges are safe for travel,” said FDOT Secretary Jared W. Perdue.

“Thanks to the leadership and decisive direction of Gov. Ron DeSantis, FDOT was able to quickly deploy 700 crew members and staff our department’s emergency operations centers across Florida to bring a sense of normalcy to all impacted communities and provide access for first responders, utility restoration, and deliveries of necessary recovery supplies.”

Additionally, FDOT said all state-owned bridges along State Road 24, which leads to hard-hit Cedar Key, have been inspected and cleared for travel.

The bridge to Cedar Key on S.R. 24 was completely submerged following Hurricane Idalia’s landfall. FDOT bridge inspectors were deployed immediately following the storm and determined the bridge was structurally sound and passable.

FDOT said residents should continue to follow local emergency and law enforcement guidance as they begin to return home.

Evening Reads

—“Jimmy Patronis sees ‘silver lining’ for insurance market in track Idalia took” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics

—”I taught the AP class Ron DeSantis gutted. He can’t shake this racist shooting.” via Aymann Ismail of Slate

—”Pro-DeSantis super PAC ends door-knocking in Nevada and Super Tuesday states” via Allan Smith and Natasha Korecki of NBC News

—“DeSantis tells Joe Biden: Keep your IRA money” via Jennifer Haberkorn of POLITICO

—”Repairs cut power outages in Florida to 140,000 accounts overnight after Hurricane Idalia” via Jesse Scheckner of Florida Politics

—“DeSantis sparks fury with ‘you loot, we shoot’ hurricane warning” via Ewan Palmer of Newsweek

—“Hurricane Idalia survivor describes storm’s fury near landfall: ‘Don’t ever want to go through that again’” via Jack Lemnus of Fresh Take Florida

—”Key to Hurricane Idalia’s low death toll? Floridians heeded evacuation warnings.” via Alex Harris and Joey Flechas of the Miami Herald/Tampa Bay Times

—”‘It’s a mess’: Citrus County’s coastal towns begin Idalia mop-up” via Mike Wright of Florida Politics

—”How one Florida city beat its stigma as a stinky town” via Craig Pittman of the Florida Phoenix

—“Yes, those flamingos you saw are a long way from home thanks to Hurricane Idalia” via Peter Schorsch of Florida Politics

Quote of the Day

“There’s been a lot of great work with these linemen in these companies really putting an effort on rapid power restoration. Everyone’s working together.”

— Gov. Ron DeSantis, on power restoration efforts.

Bill Day’s latest


Breakthrough Insights


Last Call is published by Peter Schorsch, assembled and edited by Phil Ammann and Drew Wilson with contributions from the staff of Florida Politics.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises Media and is the publisher of, INFLUENCE Magazine, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Previous to his publishing efforts, Peter was a political consultant to dozens of congressional and state campaigns, as well as several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella. Follow Peter on Twitter @PeterSchorschFL.


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.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn