Winners & Losers

This week’s biggest Winners & Losers

Who’s up and who’s down in the Sunshine State?

Who’s winning or losing sometimes depends on one’s political leanings. Take Dr. Joseph Ladapo, the state’s top health official. He testified this week that the state’s decision “to block county health departments from obtaining the newly approved COVID-19 vaccines for young children may prevent an estimated 30,000 disadvantaged kids from accessing the vaccines.” The Florida Democratic Party seized on the statement, arguing that he and his boss “intentionally robbed thousands of families of the option to vaccinate their kids.” But Ladapo insisted that healthy kids under 16 don’t need the vaccine. That had Twitter user MamaEsq singing his praises: “Where's the risk-benefit analysis? Kids don't need THIS vaccine. FL is lucky to have Dr. Ladapo and Gov. DeSantis.” Setting that matter aside, we hope this week’s Winners & Losers are a tad more clear-cut.

WINNERS:

Ray Rodrigues -

First, the news was that state Sen. Ray Rodrigues was not seeking re-election this year. Then came the speculation: The Estero Republican was rumored to be the next chancellor of the State University System. Now, Chancellor Marshall Criser has told the Board of Governors he is leaving at the end of his current contract, which is up in December. Mirabile dictu for Rodrigues, a source close to the governor quickly confirmed to City & State that DeSantis would recommend him to replace Criser, virtually ensuring he gets the job. It’s good to have friends in high places.  

Andrew Shirvell -

The executive director of the Florida Voice for the Unborn has been given a massive victory with the overturning of Roe v. Wade, which suddenly makes an abortion ban a legal possibility in the state. While it’s unclear whether Gov. Ron DeSantis will get behind an outright ban on the procedure in Florida – and the implementation of the recently passed 15-week abortion ban has at least been delayed – you can expect groups like Shirvell’s to continue to push for no abortions in the Sunshine State with a clearer runway than ever before.

Annette Taddeo -

The outgoing state senator, who departed the race to be the Democratic nominee for governor, now is raring to become the next individual representing the 27th Congressional District. The good news for her this week is an internal poll that shows her ahead of Miami City Commissioner Ken Russell by 36 points, less than a week after announcing her candidacy. That was followed by another internal poll showing her in a virtual tie with GOP U.S. Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar in the general election. Granted, these are snapshots – and should be taken with a grain of salt considering the source – but Taddeo can’t complain.

LOSERS:

Eric Adams -

As he cozies up to the business class and tries to crack down on crime, New York City Mayor Eric Adams says it’s time for New Yorkers who have fled to Florida to return home. “Bring your butt back to New York,” he said before taking office. “Listen, we want you here in New York,” he told Floridians when the Sunshine State passed legislation dubbed by critics as the “Don’t Say Gay” law. While it’s unclear if any New York expats are paying attention, what is clear is that Florida is winning this battle so far: IRS data shows the city lost nearly 21,000 residents – and their tax revenue – to Florida in 2020 alone.

Nikki Fried -

Although Nikki Fried’s camp has provided internal polls showing she has a shot against U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, interal from Crist’s camp and external polls alike show she’s way, way down – including a new one this week showing Crist ahead 55-34 among likely Democratic primary voters. While she continues to message on Crist’s previous abortion stances, the lead Crist has amassed in the race to be the underdog against Gov. Ron DeSantis may be insurmountable. However, Fried has shown zero signs of throwing in the towel.

Eric Silagy -

The Florida Power & Light CEO was shocked – shocked – to learn that consultants used by his utility had spied on a Jacksonville newspaper columnist who had opined critically on FPL’s possible takeover of the city’s electric utility. Monroe later called Silagy’s denials “bizarre” and, whatever happened, Silagy took a PR black eye. In an unrelated footnote, he commented this week at a State University System Board of Governors meeting, of which he’s a member, on rule language to punish leaking information on a university presidential search: "In the world we live in, people love to trade in information."

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