Last Call for 4.17.24 — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics


Last Call — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics.

First Shot

The Florida Democratic Party has announced a recruitment effort to field candidates for every state and federal legislative office in Florida. Up until now, grassroots activists had championed any attempt to run a full slate of candidates.

Billboard campaigns seeking candidates to run just rolled out in Polk, Madison, Miami-Dade and Seminole counties, where the state party is making a targeted candidate recruitment effort. “You’re already a leader. Run for office,” the large signs read.

“There are 27 uncontested House seats with no Democrat running and it is up to us to change that. We are already competing in more races compared to 2022 but it is our goal to field candidates in every seat across the state and give Republicans a run for their money. As we get closer to qualifying deadlines, candidate recruitment is a top priority,” said Florida Democratic Party Chair Nikki Fried.

“30 years of Republican rule has failed Floridians. Property insurance rates are through the roof, we lead the nation in teacher shortages, and over a million Floridians have been kicked off Medicaid because Florida Republicans refuse to expand it. We need more Democrats in the running to fight for the issues people care about and defend the programs Floridians rely on.”

Right now, there are no Democrats filed in three federal races in Florida, including in Florida’s 2nd, 3rd and 12th Congressional Districts. There are also four Florida Senate districts with no Democrats filed, and 38 Florida House races as of mid-day April 17 with no Democrat filed.

Bill Day’s Latest

Evening Reads

—“The great debate of ’98 and how Bob Graham stole the show” via David Johnson for Florida Politics

—”How Floridians, Democrats, Republicans reacted to life of Bob Graham” via Lawrence Mower and Romy Ellenbogen of the Tampa Bay Times

—”Bob Graham, former Florida governor and U.S. Senator, dies at 87” via David Smiley of the Miami Herald

—”Why Joe Biden should not debate Donald Trump” via David Frum of The Atlantic

—”In a swing through Pennsylvania, Biden pivots to populism” via Cleve R. Wootson Jr. of The Washington Post

—”The RNC’s convention playlist is full of artists who detest Trump” via Nikki McCann Ramirez of Rolling Stone

—”Biden, competing with Trump to be tough on China, calls for steel tariffs” via Nicholas Nehamas and Jim Tankersley of The New York Times

—”The Supreme Court case that could turn homelessness into a crime” via Ian Millhiser of Vox

Quote of the Day

“I could think of a bigger waste of money … oh wait I can’t.”

— Republican Party of Florida Chair Evan Power on FDP’s candidate recruitment push.

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.

Maybe if someone orders Gov. Ron DeSantis one of these Kitchen Toke infusions, he’ll stop trying to dunk on the recreational marijuana amendment.

The state essentially told 22,000 children to go suck a lemon when it dropped them from KidCare … maybe their parents could use a Lemon Drop?

According to, Tampa’s Ybor City district and Babcock Ranch in Charlotte County are both Top 10 places to live in the U.S. Toast them with a classic La Florida.

Breakthrough Insights


Tune In

Heat hope to repeat last year’s playoff run

The NBA’s play-in tournament continues tonight as the Miami Heat try to advance into the main bracket of the NBA playoffs. The Heat face the 76ers in Philadelphia with the winner clinching the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference (7 p.m. ET, ESPN).

The Heat (46-36) have been through this before. Last season, Miami advanced through the play-in to the main bracket and proceeded to win their way to the NBA Finals before losing to the Denver Nuggets.

The Heat beat the Sixers in Miami on Christmas Day 119-113 and again on Valentine’s Day in Philadelphia 109-104. In both games, the Sixers were without reigning MVP Joel Embiid, who was out with a knee injury. Embiid returned to the lineup on April 2 and played in five of the last seven regular season games for Philadelphia. He is expected to be in the lineup tonight. 

Injuries have been an issue for the Heat all season. Guard Terry Rozier is out with a back injury. The veteran has averaged 16.4 points per game in 31 games this season. The rest of the roster should be healthy for the play-in game.

If the Heat win, they will advance to face the #2 seed New York Knicks. If Miami loses tonight, they will still have a chance to advance into the main bracket as the eighth seed by beating the winner of tonight’s matchup between the Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks. The eighth seed would face the top seed in the East, the Boston Celtics, in the first round of the playoffs.

Also tonight:

6:50 p.m. — Los Angeles Angels @ Tampa Bay Rays

7 p.m. — Toronto Maple Leafs @ Tampa Bay Lightning


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

Phil Ammann

Phil Ammann is a Tampa Bay-area journalist, editor and writer. With more than three decades of writing, editing, reporting and management experience, Phil produced content for both print and online, in addition to founding several specialty websites, including His broad range includes covering news, local government, entertainment reviews, marketing and an advice column. Phil has served as editor and production manager for Extensive Enterprises Media since 2013 and lives in Tampa with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul. He can be reached on Twitter @PhilAmmann or at [email protected].

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