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Sunburn — The Morning Read Of What’s Hot In Florida Politics — 6.20.22

By Peter Schorsch   

Good Monday morning.

A poll of likely Florida Democratic voters shows Charlie Crist maintaining a solid lead over Nikki Fried in the Governor’s race.

St. Pete Polls’ latest survey, conducted for Florida Politics, shows greater than 49% favor Crist, a Democratic St. Petersburg Congressman and former GOP Governor. About 24% prefer Fried, Florida’s current Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Pollsters surveyed 1,007 registered Democrats and reported a 3.1% margin of error on the results. The poll was conducted June 16 and 17.

Charlie Crist keeps the advantage over Nikki Fried.

The survey shows a slight tightening of the race since St. Pete Polls published its last Primary poll in May. But it still indicates Crist is on the cusp of a 50% majority. It also shows more voters undecided, 26%, than the number committed to Fried.

The polling shows Fried, the only Democrat holding statewide office in Florida, needs to sway the bulk of fence-sitters in the race.

Since the last poll, a third candidate in the race, state Sen. Annette Taddeo, dropped out of the gubernatorial contest and qualified to run for Congress.

The latest poll indicated poll leads with all racial demographics. About 51% of Black voters plan to vote for Crist while 17% want Fried, with that group also showing the greatest number of undecided voters with 32%. Crist wins over 49% of White voters, while Fried holds the support of 27% by comparison. Crist leads with Asian voters 70%-10% and Hispanic voters 49% to 26%.

Almost 50% of male voters prefer Crist while about 24% like Fried. Among female voters, Fried performs better and breaks 25% support, but about 43% still plan to vote for Crist.

Crist boasts the most substantial support among young voters under age 30, with upward of 60% picking him in the survey as over 22% went for Fried. He also wins over voters over 70, with 52% choosing him and 20% going for Fried. He polls in the 40s with voters 30 through 70, but Fried remains stuck in the upper 20s?

Of note, Crist’s 25-percentage-point lead in the poll shows a different state of the race than internal polling recently released by Fried’s campaign, which showed her within striking distance of Crist.


First in Sunburn — The Southern Group locks up veteran public safety guru Jared Torres — Torres, a veteran of three Governors’ administrations, is joining top Florida influence firm The Southern Group. He brings expertise in public safety, criminal justice, and health and human services to the firm known for its deep policy expertise and lobbying muscle.

Torres’ comprehensive policy and legislative experience are rooted in his leadership roles at both the Agency for Persons with Disabilities and, for the past seven years, at the Florida Department of Corrections (FDC).

Congrats to Jared Torres, the latest big hire for The Southern Group.

“Jared is a subject-matter expert with a detailed and nuanced understanding of both the executive and legislative branches where he has earned the respect of his peers,” said firm founder and chair Paul Bradshaw. “But even rarer than that, he has demonstrated a determination and work ethic that few people can match, and those traits have quickly propelled him up the ladder of state government. Temperamentally, he’s a great fit for our team.”

Torres’s passion for public service and the government process began long before his tenure in Tallahassee. A school field trip many years ago to the Capital City with a group from Take Stock in Children first sparked his interest in government. Since then, making Florida’s communities safer has been a top priority for Torres. His successes include securing hard-won appropriations and finely tuned policies that improved the safety and security within the prison system itself.

“Jared Torres’s passion for service is at the heart of everything he does. His investment in serving others helps him be an effective communicator and influencer,” said Rep. Sam Garrison. “The Southern Group is lucky to have him on the team.”

Read the full story about Torres’s hiring here.


First in Sunburn — Respected regulatory and legislative affairs law firm Meenan announced that Aaron LuntKirsten Matthis and William Anderson are new shareholders at the firm, effective May 1.

Lunt is a Florida and Illinois-licensed attorney and holds the Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) and Associate in Reinsurance designations. He has worked as general counsel for a third-party administrator for automotive service contracts, GAP waivers and related protection products.

“We have worked with Aaron for many years on some of the most challenging issues facing the service contract and insurance industries and saw this as an excellent opportunity to bring our resources together on behalf of the firm’s clients,” managing shareholder Tim Meenan said.

Matthis joined Meenan in 2015 as an associate. Her practice focuses on complex civil and administrative litigation matters, and regulatory law. Anderson joined Meenan in 2017 as an associate. He obtained a degree in risk management/insurance and economics from Florida State University and focuses his practice on licensure and compliance in the service contract, warranty, motor vehicle ancillary product, risk retention groups and insurance industries.

“Kirsten and William are prime examples of the caliber of service Meenan P.A. provides to our clients. We are proud to give deserved recognition to these talented attorneys for this achievement they earned through dedication and hard work,” Tim Meenan said.

Meenan also recently welcomed Rob Henderson and Kelsey Carlton to the firm.

Henderson, formerly an assistant vice president with USAA, has become Of Counsel to the firm. Carlton is a 2021 graduate of the FSU College of Law. She has clerked for the Department of Financial Services and the Florida Bar. She has also worked for the Governor and most recently served as the deputy human resources director for the Republican Party of Florida.


Tweet, tweet:


@CliffSchecter: Hearings work. Ppl watch compelling TV. It shapes their perceptions. Please add more live hearings

@TheRickWilson: The Dan Crenshaw story should be a lesson for the legacy GOP. Don’t think the alligator won’t eat you.

@GeorgeTakei: Who was grooming and recruiting all those Proud Boys? That’s what I want to know.

@BonillaJL: The institution of a federal holiday celebrating the abolition of the evil that was chattel slavery should not be a controversial matter.

@SonnyBunch: LIGHTYEAR’s soft open is interesting in that it can confirm lots of priors. It’s a.) the natural result of Disney teaching people to watch Pixar movies on D+ or b.) a backlash against “woke” cinema or c.) proof that America remains tragically homophobic or d.) franchise fatigue.

@TomArnold: Being a good father means being there for your kids after you screwed up by promising the roller coaster wouldn’t be scary. Happy Father’s Day

FloridaPolitics, excerpt posted on  SouthFloridaReporter.comJune 20, 2022

Republished with permission