Last Call for 8.2.22 — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics

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

First Shot

The Democratic Primary for Governor is turning nasty.

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried’s gubernatorial campaign is claiming that U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist’s campaign “is going full-tilt negative.”

The latest gripe: Photoshopped “GOP” signs of Fried and a direct-mail campaign that refers to her as a “Republican lobbyist.”

The negativity goes both ways, however.

In the same news release chastising Crist, Fried’s campaign slammed Crist for appointing an “anti-choice extremist to the Florida Supreme Court” and called on women who have endorsed Crist “to speak up, disown him, and reject his lies about supporting women and women’s health.”

The memo, attributed to Fried’s campaign Press Secretary Caroline Korba, closed with a personal jab: “He is a fraud, a coward, and a three-time (about to be four-time) loser.”

Crist and Fried are the two major Democratic candidates for Governor. Crist holds the lead in fundraising and endorsements, and recent polls show he’s leading among voters as well.

The winner of the Aug. 23 Democratic Primary will face Gov. Ron DeSantis in November.

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Attorney General candidate Daniel Uhlfelder is busting out his Grim Reaper costume and coming to Tallahassee.

Uhlfelder, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for AG, drew media attention in the early days of the pandemic by wearing the tattered robe and carrying a scythe in protest of DeSantis’ COVID-19 policies.

Now, Uhlfelder is suiting up and traveling to gas stations to highlight the “grim” financial situation that many Floridians are experiencing.

“Astronomical gas prices, utility rates, property insurance, and rent. While Florida’s leaders like Ashley Moody focus on waging a divisive culture war, Uhlfelder is building a campaign around getting more money in the pockets of struggling Floridians,” Uhlfelder’s campaign said.

The “Killed at the Pump Reaper Tour” kicks off Wednesday in Tallahassee at the Shell station found at 3433 Thomasville Road beginning at 12:30 p.m. The campaign said the tour will see Uhlfelder travel across the state with more information on stops to be announced at a later date.

Uhlfelder, a Santa Rosa Beach lawyer, is one of three Democrats competing to challenge incumbent Republican Moody in November. He faces former State Attorney Aramis Ayala and Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney Jim Lewis.

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Two Democratic lawmakers and local union leaders will hold a news conference tomorrow morning on the housing crisis.

Sen. Shevrin Jones, Rep. Kevin Chambliss and Karla Hern?ndez-Mats and Mindy Grimes-Festge of United Teachers of Dade will “call out Sen. Marco Rubio for his record of inaction in the face of skyrocketing rents and housing costs.”

A news release notes that Miami rents have shot up faster than in any other major city in the country over the past year and asserts that Rubio “has failed to take action on the crisis in his own backyard, instead voting against popular measures to lower the cost of housing across the state.”

Miami rents have indeed been among the fastest growing in the country. According to a recent report from Realtor.com, the median rent on a one-bedroom apartment in the city is currently $2,494, a 32% increase from last year.

The news conference will start at 11 a.m. The location is available to those who email [email protected] with an RSVP.

Evening Reads

–“Rick Scott says Joe Biden is ‘completely lying’” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics

–“How 3 Florida Democratic Attorney General candidates aim to unseat Ashley Moody” via James Call of the Tallahassee Democrat

–“Florida Democrats attempt to counter DeSantis with school board endorsements” via Andrew Atterbury of POLITICO Florida

–“Five more faith-based lawsuits filed to overturn Florida’s 15-week abortion ban” via Jesse Scheckner of Florida Politics

–“FPL has a secret bar used by lawmakers and lobbyists in Tallahassee, report says” via Steven Lemongello of the Orlando Sentinel

–“I was a longtime PR pro, and Florida Power & Light ought to know better” via Kirk Hazlett for the Tampa Bay Times

–“It’s time to shutter The Capitolist” via Peter Schorsch of Florida Politics

–“Randolph Bracy proposes taxing out-of-state housing investors” via Scott Powers of Florida Politics

–“Demotech downgrades three Florida insurers” via Gray Rohrer of Florida Politics

–“Russia wants to mar U.S. elections. Why target St. Petersburg’s Uhurus?” via Jay Cridlin of the Tampa Bay Times

–“Kamala Harris made surprise stop in Little Havana: A thrift store with a mission” via Alex Harris of the Miami Herald

Quote of the Day

“We love America, but right now Floridians are first.”

— Sen. Randolph Bracy, while announcing a plan to tax out-of-state housing investors.

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