The Hill's Campaign Report: Jacksonville mandates face coverings as GOP convention approaches

Welcome to The Hill’s Campaign Report, your daily rundown on all the latest news in the 2020 presidential, Senate and House races. Did someone forward this to you? Click here to subscribe.

We’re Julia Manchester, Max Greenwood and Jonathan Easley. Here’s what we’re watching today on the campaign trail. 



LEADING THE DAY: The Great Mask Debate 

Jacksonville, Fla., announced on Monday that residents and visitors will be required to wear masks, or face coverings, indoors and in public spaces. The development comes as coronavirus cases in the Sunshine State skyrocket ahead of the Republican National Convention set to take place in the northern Florida city in August. 

More than 8,000 new coronavirus cases were reported in Florida for the third day in a row on Sunday, resulting in public officials rethinking their reopening strategies in an effort to slow the spread of the virus. Bars in the state have been shut down to dissuade people from gathering in the spaces.  Additionally, various South Florida beaches will be closed ahead of the July Fourth holiday. 

And while face masks have been required in some of the state’s localities, like Orange County, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisTrump's new interest in water resources — why now? Trump campaign says it didn't hire armed guards outside Florida polling place Trump jokes he'll 'find a way' to fire Gov. DeSantis if he loses Florida MORE (R) has yet to issue a statewide mandate on face masks. 

“We’ve worked very closely with Jacksonville just as we’ve worked with the folks in South Florida and others, and we’re going to continue to do that and support efforts that they think are appropriate in their given jurisdiction,” DeSantis said at a press briefing on Monday. 

However, the issue of whether to wear a face covering has become highly politicized. 

Last week, a video of a Palm Beach Commission meeting went viral after residents erupted at local officials' move to make face coverings mandatory in public, with one attendee going as far as calling the mandate “the devil’s law.” 


Various GOP-led municipalities in parts of South Florida have said they will not institute a mask mandate. President TrumpDonald John TrumpGiuliani goes off on Fox Business host after she compares him to Christopher Steele Trump looks to shore up support in Nebraska NYT: Trump had 7 million in debt mostly tied to Chicago project forgiven MORE, himself, has been reluctant to wear a mask. 

However, Democrats and a growing list of Republicans are calling on Trump to don a face covering in public. Republican Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said on Friday that there needs to be a consistent message from Trump on the issue of masks, while Republican Tennessee Sen. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderBitter fight over Barrett fuels calls to nix filibuster, expand court Senate Health Committee chair asks Cuomo, Newsom to 'stop second guessing' FDA on vaccine efficacy The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Goldman Sachs - Two weeks out, Trump attempts to rally the base MORE echoed that sentiment on Sunday. 

“If wearing masks is important and all the health experts tell us that it is in containing the disease in 2020, it would help if from time to time the president would wear one to help us get rid of this political debate that says if you’re for Trump, you don’t wear a mask, if you’re against Trump, you do,” Alexander said. 

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said at a briefing on Monday that Trump does not have an issue with people wearing masks. 

"[Trump] encourages people to make whatever decision is best for their safety but did say to me he has no problems with masks and to do whatever your local jurisdiction requests of you,” she said. 

--Julia Manchester 

READ MORE: Jacksonville, site of Republican convention, to require masks indoors and in public, by Brett Samuels


Trump is struggling to get a hold on his 2020 messaging, as the death toll from the coronavirus crisis mounts and the economy reels. Trump had once planned to put the economy at the center of his reelection campaign, but high unemployment rates and a turbulent stock market has largely thrown cold water on that strategy. Asked in an interview with Fox News’ Sean HannitySean Patrick HannityTrump calls Fox 'disappointing' for airing Obama speech Graham dismisses criticism from Fox Business's Lou Dobbs Biden: Johnson should be 'ashamed' for suggesting family profited from their name MORE last week what his priorities are for a second term, Trump did not say what was on his agenda. The Hill’s Niall Stanage reports.



Former 2020 Democratic contender Tom SteyerTom SteyerTrump leads Biden in Texas by 4 points: poll Democrats seem unlikely to move against Feinstein 2020 election already most expensive ever MORE endorsed Sen. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyMarkey rips GOP for support of Amy Coney Barrett: Originalism 'just a fancy word for discrimination' Ocasio-Cortez says having Green New Deal would have helped handle COVID-19 pandemic OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Democrats push expansion of offshore wind, block offshore drilling with ocean energy bill | Poll: Two-thirds of voters support Biden climate plan | Biden plan lags Green New Deal in fighting emissions from homes MORE (D) in his Massachusetts Senate primary race against Rep. Joe KennedyJoseph (Joe) Patrick KennedyDozens of legal experts throw weight behind Supreme Court term limit bill Presidential debate proves the power of the climate movement Democrats see fundraising spike following Ginsburg death MORE (D-Mass.). The endorsement, which was first released to The Hill, comes seven years after Markey denounced Steyer's involvement on his behalf in his first Senate bid in 2013. Markey's campaign argued that Steyer's commitment to spend a significant amount of money to defeat Markey's then-opponent, Rep. Stephen LynchStephen Francis LynchOVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Top general negative for coronavirus, Pentagon chief to get tested after Trump result l Top House lawmakers launch investigation into Pentagon redirecting COVID-19 funds Top House lawmakers launch investigation into Pentagon redirecting COVID-19 funds Overnight Defense: Pentagon redirects pandemic funding to defense contractors | US planning for full Afghanistan withdrawal by May | Anti-Trump GOP group puts ads in military papers MORE (D-Mass.), went against the People's Pledge, which blocks any outside groups from advertising in the Senate race. Julia reports.




Brad BannonPolitical establishment takes a hit as chaos reigns supreme

Jeffrey BirnbaumA humble guide to the election: What we don't know, and what we do



Biden: 49%

Trump: 45%



Collins: 23%

Loeffler: 21%

Warnock: 20%


Biden: 46%

Trump: 41%



Markey also has scored support from a number of celebrities, including Jane Fonda, Michael Douglas and Carole King, who are fundraising for him. The effort comes as Markey lags behind Kennedy in fundraising two months out from the Bay State's Democratic Senate primary. Kennedy had $6.2 million in cash on hand at the end of the last fundraising quarter, while Markey had $4.4 million in the bank. Julia reports


June 30:

Colorado primaries

Oklahoma primaries

Utah primaries


July 7:

New Jersey primaries

Delaware primaries


July 11:

Louisiana primaries


July 14:

Alabama primary runoffs

Texas primary runoffs

Maine primaries


Aug. 4:

Arizona primaries

Kansas primaries

Michigan primaries

Missouri primaries

Washington primaries


Aug. 11:

Connecticut primaries

Minnesota primaries

Vermont primaries

Wisconsin primaries

Georgia primary runoffs


Aug. 18:

Alaska primaries

Florida primaries

Wyoming primaries


Aug. 17-20:

Democratic National Convention


Aug. 24-27:

Republican National Convention


Sept. 1:

Massachusetts primaries


Sept. 8:

New Hampshire primaries

Rhode Island primaries


Sept. 15:

Delaware primaries


Sept. 29:

First presidential debate


Oct. 7:

Vice presidential debate


Oct. 15:

Second presidential debate


Oct. 22:

Third presidential debate