Only one member of what the Florida House of Representatives once affectionately (and, occasionally, disgustedly) referred to as the Auburn Caucus remains in government. But lone remaining legislator Jay Trumbull (who’s now in the Senate), Jayer Williamson, James Grant, Clay Ingram, and Steve Crisafulli, the former Speaker of the House with that sliver of the Toomer’s Oaks in his gavel, are all still friends. They all still talk, still get together for games. They still have a group text going. And, today, that thing was blowing up.
It started this morning when Williamson let everyone know about the call — his friend in the Escambia County tax collector’s office had reached out to tell him they were sitting at 2,982 preorders, 2,000 of which, incredibly, had come through his office, he said.
“Hey, boys,” Williamson texted. “Let’s finish it today.”
Grant, who kinda knows how to use social media thanks to his three post-House years as the State of Florida’s Chief Information officer, immediately hit Twitter or X or whatever, sharing a Tampa Bay Auburn Club tweet reporting the same numbers.
“We started this campaign almost a decade ago. For the love of all that’s holy, can 18 of you please stop what you’re doing and buy the voucher so we can finally have our @AuburnU license tag in Florida? It’s time…”
He was right. It was time. Williamson’s friend texted — 30 new forms had been filled out almost immediately.
Which means that after a 10-year journey (that six years ago earned 2,500 influential words on this website) through more red tape than one would think possible, it’s going to happen. The three-thousandth pre-order came through. The legally stipulated production threshold was met. Soon, you won’t just see rumored renderings of what the possible Auburn University specialty plate for the Sunshine State might possibly look like on Facebook. You’ll see them — the real thing — on the road.
“It was a fun little push across the finish line,” Grant said. “You know, we all helped produce some significant public policy when we were serving. But this was something that we had fun with, and it was personal. We took so much crap for 10 years. But there are a lot of Auburn graduates in Florida, and Auburn’s had a big impact here. So, why not let people show pride in the greatest university in the galaxy while acknowledging the great connections between that university and the State of Florida.”
The Caucus isn’t yet sure on the production timeline. But they’re thinking sooner rather than later. Probably in the four-month range. Whenever it is, it’ll be way sooner than Bama’s; word on the street is that they’re not even close.
“So, yeah,” Grant says. “Until some idiot tries to repeal the legislation, you can now buy an Auburn tag in Florida.”
Read More: Never To Yield (The Floor): Inside the Auburn Caucus’ fight to make Auburn the first out-of-state school with a specialty license plate in Florida