Winners & Losers

This week’s biggest Winners & Losers

Who’s up and who’s down this week?

This week's biggest Winners & Losers.

This week's biggest Winners & Losers. City & State

The Miami Heat caught fire in the first game of the NBA’s Eastern Conference finals as they scorched the rival Boston Celtics by double digits. Among the local celebrities on hand at FTX Arena on Tuesday night was Miami Mayor Francis X. Suarez, who was spotted sitting courtside … but has yet to explain how he actually got his seat when prime tickets can cost $20,000 or more. Foul? No foul? While the refs sort that out, read on to see who scored political points this week – and who got knocked off their game. 


Cord Byrd -

Florida’s new secretary of state will be in place to oversee this year’s primary and general elections. State Senate Democrats want his confirmation hearings added to next week’s special legislative session agenda, but it’s a lock GOP leadership won’t accede. That’s a win for the outgoing northeast Florida state representative, though he’ll still have to deal with the “Qord Byrd” nickname after he and his wife were seen on a boat flying a QAnon flag

Fentrice Driskell -

A series of unfortunate events has the Tampa state representative poised to become the next leader of the chamber’s Democratic caucus. St. Petersburg Rep. Ben Diamond was set to be House Democratic leader, but he ran for a seat in Congress instead (a campaign he later suspended, by the way). Then Rep. Ramon Alexander dropped out after sexual harrassment allegations against him came to light. That leaves Driskell as the only lawmaker seeking the leadership post.

Tony Montalto -

The father of 14-year-old Gina Montalto, one of the victims in the Valentine’s Day 2018 shooting at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, championed a bill this year requiring school districts to have mental health coordinators. Gov. Ron DeSantis signed it into law this week. Montalto told Florida Politics that he hopes school systems will be “able to concentrate especially on kids that have gone through a behavioral threat assessment and help to manage their care.”


Corrine Brown -

The former U.S. representative reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors this week, pleading guilty to a single count of tax fraud and agreeing to pay $62,650 to the IRS. The Jacksonville politician, whose previous conviction had been overturned on a technicality, had 17 other charges against her dropped as part of the deal, which wraps up her yearslong charity fraud case. The good news: Brown will likely get to stay out of prison – plus she’ll keep her pension

Orlando Gudes -

The Tampa City Council Member was back in the news this week with a string of scandalous headlines. The city paid a $200,000 settlement to a former staffer of his following a sexual harassment and hostile workplace probe. That person sued him, claiming it was a “nightmare” to work for him. What’s more, the lawsuit says Gudes doesn’t even live in his district, and there’s evidence to back that up. For Gudes, who has denied any wrongdoing, the only bit of positive news is that colleagues don’t believe they can expel him from the council. 

Mike Williams -

Government offices often make it difficult to obtain public records. The  Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office takes it to a new level. As the Florida Times-Union’s Nate Monroe recapped in a column, Williams’ office charged a whopping $87,401 to even begin a search for correspondence about an officer mysteriously removed from a list of unreliable cops. Then again, Williams’ similarly secretive predecessor, John Rutherford, went on to win a seat in Congress, so maybe there’s a political reward for keeping the public in the dark.