Last Call for 4.11.24 — 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

The Republican Party of Florida on Thursday touted raising more than $3.5 million during the first three months of the year.

The total includes more than $2.9 million raised through the state party account, with the balance raised through the party’s federal account. RPOF said it received contributions from more than 7,500 donors during the first quarter.

The state-level report is buoyed by large contributions from Duke Energy, NextEra Energy, and multiple political committees tied to top elected Republicans such as Agriculture Commissioner Wilton Simpson, who donated $100,000 through his political committee Friends of Wilton Simpson.

RPOF also received a $100,000 check from the Florida Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, the chief fundraising vehicle for GOP state Senate campaigns.

Alongside the fundraising reports, RPOF Chair Evan Power touted Republicans’ growing lead in voter registrations

“The RPOF continues to keep the pressure on our opponents. From massive wins in recent local elections to a tremendous fundraising report the party is continuing to dominate in Florida in ways we have never seen before. I look forward to taking the fight to the Democrats in November,” Power said.

Florida Republicans overtook Democrats in voter registrations in late 2021, marking the first time in modern history that the GOP held a registration advantage in the Sunshine State.

The advantage has continued to grow since — at the beginning of 2023, the party was up by 150,000 voters. Six months later, the advantage crossed the 500,000 mark. And, as of March 31, the GOP held an 892,034-voter edge over Democrats, 5.24 million to 4.35 million. There are an additional 3.87 million third- and no-party voters in the state.

Evening Reads

—”The 15 most critical lines from Donald Trump’s abortion statement” via Chris Cillizza of So What

—“Matt Gaetz is winning” via Elaine Godfrey of The Atlantic

—”Florida and Arizona show why abortion attacks are not slowing down” via Rachel M. Cohen of Vox

—“Florida conspiracy theorists are making a bid to commandeer a prestigious hospital” via Ja’han Jones of MSNBC

—“Will a Florida museum on Black history tell whole story? Some worry it won’t.” via Leslie Postal of the Orlando Sentinel

—“Jamie Dimon lauds Florida and Tampa markets in shareholder letter” via Christina Georgacopoulos of the Tampa Bay Business Journal

—”Again? For the third time, another company wants to drill in Florida’s Apalachicola River floodplain” via Craig Pittman of the Florida Phoenix

—”The hidden costs of homeownership are skyrocketing” via Nicole Friedman of The Wall Street Journal

Quote of the Day

“If it’s my concept, it’s not a civil rights museum and it’s not a slavery museum. It’s the history of Black folks in Florida. This would be done by historians and experts. The Department of State and Gov. DeSantis would not be deciding what goes into this museum.”

— Rep. Bruce Antone, on the statewide Black History Museum.

Put It on the Tab

Look to your left, then look to your right. If you see one of these people at your happy hour haunt, flag down the bartender and put one of these on your tab. Recipes included, just in case the Cocktail Codex fell into the well.

With new polling showing the abortion rights amendment with well under 60% support and 32% undecided, the team at Floridians Protecting Freedom could use a round of Silent Thirds.

Now that the recreational pot amendment is officially ballot-ready, Trulieve is getting backup from some major marijuana companies — perhaps a Cavalry Charge is in order.

If the USDA’s optimistic citrus forecast holds true, order your favorite orange grower a Ward Eight.

Breakthrough Insights

Tune In

It’s Masters Week

It’s a tradition unlike any other, but will Tiger Woods be there at the end to see it?

The Masters teed off today and will conclude on Sunday (2 p.m. ET, CBS). Tiger Woods is playing in the event. It’s his first tournament since withdrawing from the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club in February. Woods didn’t make it through the second round in Los Angeles and has not played in a PGA Tour event since. 

“I wasn’t ready to play,” Woods said. “My body wasn’t ready. My game wasn’t ready. And I thought that once a month would be a really nice rhythm. It hasn’t worked out that way. But now we have major championships every month from here through July. So, now the once-a-month hopefully kicks in.”

John Rahm is the defending champion. Rahm’s jump to LIV Golf was a major surprise in the golf world. He reportedly agreed to a deal worth more than $350 million to skip out on the PGA Tour. As a result, Rahm didn’t play in the Waste Management Open in his hometown of Scottsdale, AZ, nor did he compete in The Players Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL last month.

The world’s number one ranked player, Scottie Scheffler, won that event. And the Arnold Palmer Invitational before that. Scheffler is the betting favorite to win, followed by Rory McIlroy, who has never won a Green Jacket, and Rahm.

Also tonight:

7 p.m. — Ottawa Senators @ Tampa Bay Lightning

7 p.m. — Columbus Blue Jackets @ Florida Panthers


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


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.

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