Skip to main content

smart money said Gwen Graham would win the Democratic gubernatorial primary four years ago. She apparently had it all – money, name recognition and a long list of endorsements.

However, we know what happened. Progressive voters turn out for mayor of Tallahassee Andrew Gillum in sufficient numbers to give him the upset victory over Graham and five other candidates.

It’s dangerous to make assumptions about elections, especially in Florida.

We mention this because we are still four months away from the August 23 primary election, and anything can happen. It also appears that Fried Nikki did not receive the memo which charlie christ sails toward the party nomination to run for governor.

Several polls show that Crist has a consistent double-digit lead over Fried, with Annette Taddeo further back. Fried regularly says she’s not concerned about that, and in recent days she’s been reminding voters of her progressive chops, but with a twist.

She filed a lawsuit against the president’s administration Joe Biden. Wait what? Yes, Florida’s only statewide elected Democrat sued the Democratic president over a federal rule prohibiting medical marijuana users from buying a gun or having a license concealed weapons.

“This is just one of many areas where medical marijuana patients face issues of discrimination or access due to the prescription of a state-legal drug,” said Fried.

It’s an interesting double game – pairing medical weed with guns.

Crist quickly responded by reminding people of his commit to legalizing recreational marijuana. He also promised to expunge the records of nonviolent marijuana offenders.

Fried also joined the chorus of people saying it was time to end mandatory mask-wearing.

“Are we going to wear masks forever? she asked, parroting a position long held by her nemesis, Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Her stance once again puts her at odds with the Biden administration. Biden officials are appealing a federal judge’s ruling that said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cannot require people to wear masks on planes and other forms of public transportation.

Fried may not win, but we know she will continue to speak her mind. It is refreshing.

Now let’s move on to our weekly game of winners and losers.


Honorable Mention: Democratic Protesters. Maybe it was just tokenism and had no real impact on the outcome, but at least give the Democrats in Florida some credit for their Thursday protest at the Capitol.

They staged a sit-in on the House floor while Republicans steamrolled congressional maps that will almost certainly mean fewer black Florida representatives in Congress.

The Miami Herald reported that Rep. Yvonne Hinsona Gainesville Democrat who faced segregation growing up, was particularly emotional.

“I received kicks. I’ve been talked about and called names you don’t even put in the dictionary anymore,” Hinson told House members.

“The Voting Rights Act of 1965, I fought for that. I met Martin Luther King, I’m not just talking about him. He taught me about peaceful protests, and here we are, 2022, turning the tide back.

FiveThirtyEight analyzed the cards in an article titled The Extreme Bias of Florida’s New Congressional Map.

Almost (but not quite) the biggest winner(s): Vern Buchanan and Greg Steube.

The redistricting could have put these two US House GOP members on a collision course for a primary battle, but they avoided it.

The new Congress cards means both men live in what is now Florida’s 17th congressional district. However, residence in a specific district is not required to run for Congress.

Steube has announced that he will run for CD 17, which he currently represents. This includes all of Sarasota and Charlotte counties and part of Lee County.

Buchanan, meanwhile, said he would stay in Florida’s 16th congressional district, which he currently represents under old maps. According to the new map, it will include all of the manatee and part of Hillsborough.

If Republicans retake the House, Buchanan will likely become chairman of the ways and means committee. That probably means a lot more to him than new cards.

Biggest Winner: DeSantis. He can be mean-spirited, polarizing, and vindictive, but the Governor gets whatever he wants.

We saw it again in the special session, where Republican lawmakers dutifully endorsed the governor’s Congressional cards. The courts are likely to have the final say on the new borders, but many believe that won’t happen until after the November election.

Meanwhile, DeSantis’ card has stuck a fork in Democrats across the state. The Tampa Bay area saw two Democratic districts redrawn to make one red.

There was no bigger loser than the US Representative. Al Lawson. The North Florida Democrat has gone from a minority-dominated safe neighborhood to a dark red neighborhood where he has little to no chance of winning.

During the showdown with Disney, DeSantis also got his way on the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. The Governor showed his loyal supporters that Disney’s “woke” culture wouldn’t fly in Florida.

As if that weren’t enough, DeSantis got more free airtime when the Florida Department of Education rejected 54 math books. A press release headlined,Florida Rejects Publishers’ Attempts to Indoctrinate Students.” You can read the details there.


Dishonorable Mention: Randy Fine. He quickly gained a reputation as the loosest cannon in Florida House.

As the debate over Disney’s Reedy Creek improvement neighborhood raged, Fine came up with probably the dumbest version of the situation.

He tweeted, “Disney is invited to Florida. Today we remind them. (DeSantis) just extended the special session so I could file HB3C that eliminates the Reedy Creek Improvement District, a 50-year special law that makes Disney…exempt from the laws that ordinary Floridians face.

A guest, huh?

Fine, originally from Arizona, moved to Florida in 2006.

Disney’s Magic Kingdom opened in Florida in 1971, three years before Fine was born.

And this part of Disney “exempt from the laws that ordinary Floridians face” is bluster piled on nonsense. Reedy Creek meant Disney paid for its fire, road construction and maintenance, and other services normally provided by counties.

Orange County Tax Collector Scott Randolph said Disney pays around $105 million a year for it, plus property taxes like everyone else.

Guess who might end up with the tab for those services if Reedy Creek actually dissolves?


The fine invoice is passed but won’t come into effect until 2023. A lot can happen between now and then, but there’s plenty of time for Fine to say dumber things.

Almost (but not quite) the biggest loser(s): Ben Diamond, Eric Lynn and Michele Rayner-Goolsby. It’s the Democrats who are vying to replace Crist in CD 13, and they must have been feeling good about their chances before the cards came out.

Now that neighborhood looks solidly red.

This drastically reduces the chances that whoever wins the Democratic primary will win in November.

Rayner-Goolsby tweeted“As I think about what happened (Thursday). The governor and his sheep have passed the most partisan and racist congressional redistricting cards in recent history and the country. I guess the Ronald Dion Desantis mission is clear – #DontSayBlack.”

Diamond, who gave up the chance to be the House Minority Leader to run for Congress, was also outspoken.

“Our founding fathers warned us against the corrupting nature of power,” he tweeted. “Thursday’s adoption of the gerrymandered and illegal congressional map of Florida is an abdication of our duty as lawmakers and a subversion of the power of the people we were elected to represent.”

Biggest Loser: Lawson. The black Democratic congressman from District 5 was shocked by the new maps.

We knew it was coming, of course. DeSantis used the odd layout of Lawson’s district as impetus to rescind maps submitted by the House and Senate.

These maps preserved the Lawson District, a narrow corridor stretching from Jacksonville to Tallahassee. Lawmakers designed it to increase the likelihood that a black person could be elected from there.

Instead, DeSantis pushed Lawson into a dark red-light district of Jacksonville, where he has no realistic chance of winning.

Lawson’s best hope of retaining his seat may hinge on how quickly the courts rule on the legality of DeSantis’ cards. He needs it to happen right away.

Post views: