Florida

* State Rep. Fentrice Driskell, D-Tampa, is next in line to lead the House Democratic caucus now that Rep. Ramon Alexander—slated to be the next leader—has announced that he will not seek re-election in 2022. Rep. Alexander has been accused of sexual harassment.

He had been seen as a rising star in Florida Democratic politics. Now he’s seen as a reminder of the unforced errors that helped derail the political future of Andrew Gillum, who narrowly lost the gubernatorial race to Ron DeSantis in 2018.

* “It diminishes African-Americans’ ability to elect representatives of their choice.”–Judge J. Layne Smith, a Ron DeSantis appointee to the 2nd Circuit Court of Florida, on his rationale for the unconstitutionality of Florida’s new congressional map.

* The Democrats have pledged $15 million to mobilize voters and unify the party. The Blue Shift Florida” challenge: The perception that the Sunshine State is a money pit for donors, a recent gap in registered voters, ongoing Republican dominance of the state Legislature and a Fox-friendly governor with an ever-increasing national brand.

* The libertarian Cato Institute ranks Florida the second-most free state in the country (after New Hampshire). Tax, spending, regulatory policies—as well as COVID autonomy and an anti-“Woke,” pro-freedom brand have everything to do with it.

* “I look forward to what the future holds.” That was as close as Laurel Lee got to explaining why she stepped down as Florida’s secretary of state. In short, it would have been awkward to explain that she prioritized running for a Tampa Bay area congressional seat.

* Florida’s definition of Critical Race Theory: A concept that “Racism is embedded in American society and its legal system in order to uphold the supremacy of white persons.” Too bad the state isn’t more interested in understanding and combating racism than in defiantly dismissing it.

* Gov. Ron DeSantis: You know you’ve arrived as a societal force when you are satirized in Doonesbury.

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