Winners & Losers
This week’s biggest Winners & Losers
Who’s up and who’s down in the Sunshine State?
As Tom Brady retires for the second time, is there a parallel between the quarterbacks of Sunshine State teams and the Floridians who may be aiming for 2024? You could say Brady, dominant in the NFL landscape for so long, is similar to Donald Trump – after years atop the Republican heap, his influence could be waning. Is Ron DeSantis then Trevor Lawrence, on a blazing comet ride upward? And what of Tua Tagovailoa, spectacular but injured at the wrong times? Perhaps that’s Francis Suarez, the charismatic Miami-Dade mayor who can’t seem to get out of his own way when crypto is involved.
Richard Corcoran -
The Florida Republican power-player now has a new title: Interim President of the New College of Florida. The former speaker of the Florida House and education commissioner will helm the DeSantis-pushed transformation of the college into a “classical” liberal arts college, which conservatives across the country are looking at for a blueprint. With the national attention New College is getting, Corcoran may well go from familiarity in Florida political circles to a nationally known figure.
Ron DeSantis -
“America’s Governor” had a whirlwind week, capped off by the debut of the first proposed budget of his second term that would “fund some of his most politically divisive policies,” as Politico put it, such as election police and migrant relocations. DeSantis can lay claim to getting the College Board to revise its Advanced Placement African American studies course. And he’s the star of a slew of upcoming out-of-state GOP events.
Darren Soto -
At a time when wins for Democrats in Florida can be hard to come by, here’s one hurdle cleared: U.S. Rep. Darren Soto has moved closer to getting a key “wild and scenic” designation for the Kissimmee River, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Soto was able to convince the Department of the Interior to begin a study on the designation, which can provide protections against development and give it a boost toward funding.
LeAnna Cumber -
This sounds like an oopsie to us: Not disclosing, when you’re a sitting city councilmember, that your spouse was involved in the possible sale of the city’s utility system. The Times-Union reported this week that a fellow council member wants an investigation into LeAnna Cumber’s husband’s involvement in the deal to sell JEA “and also look into the ‘omission of this information’ in a disclosure statement.” We are, of course, sure there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation.
Bob Iger -
Bob Chapek learned, and now Iger – Disney’s new CEO – is finding out DeSantis doesn’t bluff or back down. Not on Reedy Creek, for sure. The Orlando Sentinel reported DeSantis expects a special session soon on the quasi-governmental district, seeking to cement state control of the area Disney World calls home. Disney has run Reedy Creek since 1967, providing fire and emergency services, but in 2022 DeSantis and the Legislature passed a bill to dissolve that district by June 1.
Mike Suarez -
It looks like this Tampa City Council candidate forgot to pay the tax man. The Internal Revenue Service said he failed to pay some of the federal taxes he owed – and in 2021 it placed a lien on his business. He said he sent a check last week to pay off the full amount, which happened because he got bad tax advice. Regardless, it's not the issue you want in the paper when you’re running for office.