Winners & Losers
This week’s biggest Winners & Losers
Who’s up and who’s down in the Sunshine State?
When you’re the Italian-American president of the Florida Senate, tough choices face you. Like turkey or lasagna. GOP state Sen. Kathleen Passidomo of Naples was formally installed as president during Tuesday’s organization session at the Capitol – which just happened to be right before the Thanksgiving holiday. As she exited a press conference, she was asked what she’s having for dinner on Thursday. “Turkey. And I don’t even like turkey. I want to make lasagna,” she said. We’re sure there’s a beloved recipe for turkey lasagna, but nope, we’re not going there. Now, here’s this week’s list of Winners & Losers.
Michael Grant & Chuck Clemons -
The two men will be majority leader and speaker pro tempore, respectively, for the next two years under new House Speaker Paul Renner. Grant’s job will be to move bills through The Process and manage floor debate. Clemons will preside at the rostrum during floor sessions when Renner is called away. Their appointments “position our 85-member supermajority for success,” Renner said. And with those numbers, it’s not like they weren’t guaranteed success anyway.
Dennis Baxley & Ben Albritton -
With Kathleen Passidomo officially Senate President, Baxley and Albritton now assume the roles of president pro tempore and majority leader in that chamber. Baxley is one of the more conservative members of the Senate: He’s long championed the anti-abortion cause and last session sponsored the Parental Rights in Education bill, which became known to its critics as the “Don’t Say Gay” measure. Albritton is in line to take over the gavel as president for 2024-26.
Scott Singer, Shalonda Warren & Joseph Peduzzi -
The Boca Raton mayor and two West Palm Beach commissioners have already cruised to reelection after no one emerged to challenge them. After an election cycle that saw several close and contentious Palm Beach elections this November, those three should feel lucky to avoid a race of their own going into March’s municipal elections.
Bob Chapek -
The mouse’s top cheese got ousted after the Walt Disney Corp. stock price dropped in recent months to the lowest it has been since the start of his tenure. Fortune reports his ousting came after senior staff at the company had been campaigning for his removal with boardroom directors since the summer, citing low staff morale after he “failed to respond properly to Florida governor Ron DeSantis’ “Don’t Say Gay” bill” and other things.
Omar Smith -
The former campaign consultant to former Broward Mayor Dale Holness was sentenced to 15 months in prison for lying on a loan application for COVID relief funds and fraudulently receiving over $200,000 from the federal government. He claimed to have 30 employees at his company, when in reality he had none. Prosecutors argued that Smith was the organizer of a larger scheme involving multiple co-conspirators, one of whom also worked for Holness’ campaign.
Gregory Tony -
The Broward County sheriff has come under scrutiny after 911 calls in the county have gone unanswered, which has already contributed to one death. This has been going on for months and was the subject of a South Florida Sun Sentinel investigation that found 1,000’s of unanswered calls, but now local elected officials, like Broward County Commissioner Mark Bogen, are trying to move to take control of the 911 operator system away from Tony.
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