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Lawrence Mower - Tallahassee Correspondent

Tallahassee Correspondent

How did I end up in Florida’s capital city? I’m a Las Vegas native (yes, they do exist), and that’s where I got my journalism chops, working the night cops beat for my hometown paper. I covered enough celebrity arrests and police shootings there to make it to the investigative team at The Palm Beach Post, where I wrote about bizarre lottery winners and even weirder elections. I like stories and ideas that challenge what we think we know about the world. Got one? Let me know. Just don’t screen your calls from a 702 area code. Chances are it’s not a vacation offer — it’s just your friendly Capitol journalist.

  1. A Florida panther
  2. In this 2014 photo, Dane Eagle, then a state House representative for Cape Coral, listens to a debate on the floor of the House of Representatives, in Tallahassee, Fla.
  3. Supporters of restoring Florida felons' voting rights march to an early voting precinct, Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition led marches to the polls in dozens of Florida counties.
  4. Customers come and go from the Publix store at 1075 South Pasadena Avenue, South Pasadena, Wednesday, March 25, 2020.
  5. Kinoy Miller prepares food at the Love Life Cafe Oct. 29 in the Wynwood neighborhood of Miami. Florida voters decided Tuesday whether to raise the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour over six years.
  6. Former first lady Michelle Obama looks on as NBA star LeBron James speaks at The University of Akron, in Akron, Ohio. A voter initiative led by Michelle Obama is partnering with a similar group founded by NBA star LeBron James and other prominent Black athletes and entertainers to generate excitement about voting early for the Nov. 3 election.
  7. Former Second Lady Jill Biden tries to rally supporters in front of Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Tallahassee on Sunday, the final day of early voting in Florida.
  8. Desmond Meade, executive director of The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC) speaks during a press conference with other FRRC leaders to discuss how the Fines and Fees program will help returning citizens and the surrounding community, in front of the Hillsborough County Courthouse on, Monday, Oct. 5, 2020 in Tampa.
  9. Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden answers a question as President Donald Trump listens during the second and final presidential debate Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn.
  10. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis prepares to speak on a range of topics related to the coronavirus on Monday, Aug. 31, 2020, during a press conference at the USF Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute in Tampa.
  11. Florida Rights Restoration Coalition leaders, Desmond Meade (left) and Neil Volz, arrive at the Hillsborough County Courthouse for a press conference to discuss how the Fines and Fees program will help returning citizens and the surrounding community, on, Monday, Oct. 5, 2020 in Tampa.
  12. With a grin on his face, Rodney Johnson, 47, walks out of the County Center after registering to vote for the first time on Tuesday, January 8, 2019. Johnson was released from prison in 2000. Since the passing of Amendment 4 Johnson is allowed to register to vote. "I feel full and completed," Johnson said. "To be able to to get my voice back and have my own rights." He adds he now feels better when he speaks to his children.
  13. Oct. 15• The Buzz on Florida Politics
    Justices of the Florida Supreme Court attend a joint session of the Florida Legislature, 1/14/2020. Left to Right: Chief Justice Charles T. Canady, Justice Ricky Polston, Justice Jorge Labarga, Justice Alan Lawson, and Justice Carlos G. Muniz.  (Two vacant justice positions need to be appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis.)
  14. A voter uses hand sanitizer as she leaves a polling station for the Florida presidential primary, Tuesday, March 17, 2020, in Bonita Springs.
  15. Sheila Singleton, 58, poses for a portrait at the Duval County Courthouse in Jacksonville on Saturday, October 3, 2020. Singleton learned that she owed restitution after a felony conviction, which invalidates her vote even after Amendment 4 was passed in the state. "I endured a lot and that's what made me who I am today," Singleton said. "I care about people just like I care about my family and I know there's work out here to be done."  She and three other founders started the Harriet Tubman Women's Auxiliary to be "change agents" within the Black community.
  16. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, right, addresses a joint session of the Florida Legislature, Tuesday, January 14, 2020 during his State of the State address in Tallahassee.
  17. Rosemary McCoy, 63, poses for a portrait at the Duval County Courthouse in Jacksonville on Saturday, October 3, 2020. After gathering signatures to get Amendment 4 on the ballot McCoy is one of 17 felons suing the state due to the clause. "If people understood the truth about what's going on then they could be free," McCoy said. "Most of us are still in bondage. We are living in captivity in 2020, and when we can't vote you are definitely in captivity because you don't have a voice, you're not saying anything so only slaves were the ones that didn't have a voice you couldn't vote so they put us back into that same type of mentality."
  18. Former Democratic presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg waves after speaking at a campaign event, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
  19. People gather around the Ben & Jerry's "Yes on 4" truck as they learn about Amendment 4 and eat free ice cream at Charles Hadley Park in Miami in 2018.
  20. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, right, addresses a joint session of the Florida Legislature, Tuesday, January 14, 2020 during his State of the State address in Tallahassee.
  21. A worker gets a thumbs up as he hands out paper unemployment applications, Tuesday, April 7, 2020, at Babcock Park in Hialeah, Fla. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday that the state's heavily criticized unemployment system should now be able to handle the crush of applicants it is receiving as workers lose their jobs because of the coronavirus outbreak. The Department of Economic Opportunity said it is working to expand online capacity with additional servers, even as it began accepting paper applications to accommodate more claims while getting staffing help from other state agencies. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
  22. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Department of Business & Professional Regulation Secretary Halsey Beshears (right) hold a round table with local bar and brewery owners at Green Bench Brewery in St. Petersburg on Sept. 3, 2020. This photo didn't sit well with St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, who took to Twitter on Friday to blast the governor for not wearing a mask.
  23. Mary Mayhew, secretary of Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration