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Florida politics and its national influence; special session recap

The first GOP debate for the 2024 presidential election cycle was Aug. 23, 2023, in Milwaukee.
Rainier Ehrhardt
The first GOP debate for the 2024 presidential election cycle was Aug. 23, 2023, in Milwaukee.

Florida politics and its national influence

Florida has been ground zero for Republicans this past week. On Wednesday night, five GOP presidential candidates were on a stage near downtown Miami. Meanwhile, 10 miles west on the same night, former President Donald Trump held a rally for his supporters in Hialeah.

With the 2024 presidential election less than one year away, we heard from some Florida voters about what’s on their minds. Plus, we talked with a Republican member of Florida’s congressional delegation and a former Republican U.S. lawmaker. And we spoke to a veteran Capitol reporter about Florida’s influence on national politics.


  • U.S. Rep. John Rutherford, R-Fla, congressman representing Florida’s 5th District. 
  • Adam Kinzinger, former Illinois congressman.  
  • Mary Ellen Klas, politics and policy columnist for Bloomberg Opinion.

Special session recap 

Florida Lawmakers passed four bills and some resolutions during the special session that wrapped up this week. Gov. Ron DeSantis called the session to support Israel in its war against Hamas. Other items were added to the agenda, including Hurricane Idalia relief and school vouchers for students with disabilities. We checked in with our partner stations for more in-depth coverage of the session.

Next week on the program, we’ll be talking about legal sports betting in Florida. Seminole Hard Rock Casino recently relaunched its sports betting app to a limited audience. What do you think about being able to bet from your phone? Email us a voice memo at

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