Last Call for 11.27.23 — 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.

First Shot

Gov. Ron DeSantis isn’t the only presidential candidate attempting the “full Grassley,” but he certainly won’t be the first to complete the quest.

Going “full Grassley” means visiting all of Iowa’s 99 counties before its front-loaded January caucuses — no small feat. And it’s one that longtime Hawkeye U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley has historically completed year after year outside of presidential races.

As a winning Republican in a coveted primary state, Grassley’s strategy is worth imitating, which is why Ryan Binkley went ahead and did it.

And who is Ryan Binkley? A Republican presidential candidate, of course.

The pastor and entrepreneur from Texas is one of a handful of also-rans who never were within 100 miles of making a debate stage and are rarely seen in front of a television camera. He did get a speaking slot at the Iowa GOP’s Lincoln dinner earlier this year, but that hasn’t helped him poll above 0% in the primary race.

Yet former President Donald Trump has noticed his efforts, if only to ding DeSantis.

In a Monday news release, Trump’s campaign said the Florida Governor was getting “crushed” by Binkley on the Iowa leg of the campaign trail.

“Binkley, a pastor from Dallas, Texas, hit the ‘Full Grassley’ in early November, proving that visiting all 99 counties is not a unique achievement that DeSantis would like everyone to believe. As with his entire campaign, DeSantis is trying to gaslight voters and Caucusgoers into believing he actually has a shot of becoming President,” Trump’s campaign said.

“If Ron DeSantis can’t even keep up with Ryan Binkley in Iowa, how can he expect to be competitive with Nikki ‘Birdbrain’ Haley for distant second place?”


The 1000 Jews of Florida Political Committee recently hosted its first fundraiser, and state Rep. David Smith was the beneficiary.

Committee leaders Jonathan Kilman, Shlomo Danzinger and Ben Jacobson put on the event in Surfside, where Danzinger is also the Mayor. 

Kilman, the Chair and CEO of government relations firm Converge Public Strategies, spoke at the event about the need for Florida’s Jewish Community to be more proactive in its engagement in Florida politics.

“When we started 1000 Jews of Florida, we understood the importance of Florida’s Jewish community shifting from a reactive posture to a proactive posture. We tend to get most engaged when one of our institutions is attacked. We could not have anticipated that less than a year later, Oct. 7 would happen in Israel,” Kilman said.

“Despite being all too familiar with antisemitism in America, we also could not have imagined the extraordinary rise in antisemitic activity across the U.S. We now know the urgency of action. This will be the first of many events we host to support candidates who align with our values and vision.” 

Smith reiterated his support for Florida’s Jewish community during the event.

“The Jewish community of Florida needs our support, and they know I am committed to being there for them. This group intends to host a lot of similar events to support candidates throughout the State of Florida, and I applaud them for putting values first. This is about doing what’s right for Floridians — public safety being a top priority,” he said.

First elected in 2018, Smith is running for re-election in Seminole County’s House District 38, which is expected to be a battleground district in 2024. His likely opponent is Democrat Sarah Henry, who won her party’s nomination in the 2022 cycle and is the only candidate besides Smith to file for 2024 to date.

Evening Reads

—“Sean Hannity wants a red vs. blue state debate. Gavin Newsom and Ron DeSantis have other plans.” via Christopher Cadelago of POLITICO

—”DeSantis v. Newsom: The presidential matchup that isn’t” via The Economist

—“Health care is front and center as DeSantis and Newsom go mano a mano” via Daniel Chang and Angela Hart of KFF News

—“In countdown to Iowa, Donald Trump is coasting, as DeSantis and Nikki Haley clash” via Shane Goldmacher of The New York Times

—“DeSantis courts donors for new political group after tensions flared among allies” via Will McDuffie and Hannah Demissie of ABC News

—“The case that could destroy the government” via Noah Rosenblum of The Atlantic

—”When Peter Antonacci was stricken in Governor’s office, he lay in hallway 24 minutes before anyone noticed” via Dan Christensen of the Florida Bulldog

—“The annoying — and hard to solve — problem of stolen packages” via Whizy Kim of Vox


Quote of the Day

“Bless their hearts; they have no shame.”

— U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, on Republicans cheering infrastructure projects they voted against in Congress.

Put It on the Tab

DeSantis is getting hyped about his debate against California Gov. Gavin Newsom later in the week. The rest of us will need a Remote Control when it’s on our TV.

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan spent the morning giving the House Speaker an airport tour and will spend the evening making paper for the House GOP. That earns him a Paper Plane.

Sen. Tina Polsky wants to coronate the Florida scrub jay as the official state bird. In other words, she wants Tequila Mockingbird … get it?

Ed Montanari is racking up endorsements for his House campaign. The latest: Speaker-designate Daniel Perez. All he needs to do now is Stick the Landing.

Breakthrough Insights

Tune In

7 p.m. — Florida Panthers @ Ottawa Senators

9 p.m. — Tampa Bay Lightning @ Colorado Avalanche


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

Staff Reports


    • Michael Smith

      November 28, 2023 at 5:27 pm

      Great question Mr. Gillis.
      I hope you get an answer of YES.

Comments are closed.


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