Top Three Takeaways – October 19th, 2021
- A lot to feel good about. When was the last time you got through a day without having to think about something related to COVID-19? I mean yeah, most of us have been in our normal routines for a while now, but even if we’re going about our lives rather normally, the rest of the world still isn’t. That includes the policies of our school districts, our employers and entertainment venues just to name a few. And of course, any day now the Biden administration is set to impose a vaccine mandate just to be able to work. But independent of the questionable policies of all of the aforementioned, we’re about the best off we’ve been at any point in this pandemic. One day history is likely to repeat itself, meaning COVID-19 becomes a seasonal flu (which it already was last year) and we declare an end to this pandemic. While it’s unlikely the powers that be in Washington will let that happen anytime soon, what could happen soon is Florida seeing cases drop to the lowest levels since the earliest weeks of the pandemic. According to the Mayo Clinic’s highly accurate 14-day tracker, the worst case over the next couple of weeks has cases remaining around where they’ve been over the past week. The best-case scenario would see cases dropping to around 900 daily – or what would be the lowest since May of last year. That wouldn’t just mark the end of another surge, it’d be returning to where we were at the onset of the pandemic in Florida which would be highly encouraging.
- Taddeo’s tell-tale sign? Generally, when an elected official announces a run for a higher office it’s viewed as a candidate going on offense seeking a promotion based upon what they perceive to be an opportunity. That may well be the case with how Annette Taddeo perceives her candidacy and it’s surely what she’d say publicly about her entrance into the Democratic primary race for governor which already features two current higher profile officer holders with much higher name recognition in Charlie Crist, whom she ran with in his failed gubernatorial bid in 2014, and the only statewide elected Democrat in Florida, in Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried. It would seem odd for a non-term limited state senator to jump into that fray unless there’s something else at play. If we know anything about Taddeo, it’s that she wants to hold elective office. After her failed bid as Florida’s Lt. Governor in 2014, she ran for Congress in 2016 but lost in the Democratic primary. Undeterred, she ran for state Senate in a 2017 special election which she won. In 2018 she successfully defended her seat winning a full term by a margin of exactly seven points. It’s safe to say that after first running for Lt. Governor and then for Congress, the state senate was never her political preference but is there more at play here than political ambition? It’s no secret that Florida’s days as the ultimate swing state may be giving way to our having become a red state. Much of that is due to progress Republicans have had in curbing the advantage Democrats have held in South Florida. Could it be that after having seen fellow, and neighboring district, Democrat state senator Jose Rodriguez defeated last year, along with the continued defections of Democrats in South Florida through voter registration this year, she’s running for governor in part because she’s not confident she’d be reelected in the Senate? There are currently more elected Republicans in the state of Florida than at any other time in history, and Annette Taddeo’s vacating of Senate District 40 could represent the next best pickup opportunity for Republicans in addition to being a tell-tale sign about the political trends in Florida and specifically South Florida. Speaking of Florida politics...
- Get ready for some new representation. Not all of us but many of us. Given Florida’s redistricting, which includes gaining a congressional seat, that was always going to be the case anyway for many. But it could prove to be a bit more dramatic than you may think. In talking with State Senator Manny Diaz Jr. yesterday, he said the process is coming along in a methodical manner which will produce a better result than the mess of a decade ago. The mess which resulted in the courts throwing out Florida’s redrawn map, instead implementing one at the request of the League of Women Voters. While indicating the extra Congressional seat will likely fall within near the I-4corridor, largely as expected, he said the maps are being drawn from scratch without specific consideration to our current districts. Under law, maps can’t specifically be drawn to benefit incumbents anyway and with it having been 20 years since a map was drawn by the state legislature being in place – many Floridians may be set to get new representation following the 2022 election cycle.