Winners & Losers

This week’s biggest Winners & Losers

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

It came as a surprise to many that Tallahassee City Hall is now a park – but that equals a win for downtown workers who want to commune with nature and not have to walk all the way to Kleman Plaza, which is also a park. Officials even put up a sign outside City Hall with helpful rules like “No sleeping/camping.” Some people may think it had something to do with a certain protest this week, but we believe City Hall loves us and wants us to be happy. We look forward to hiking and picnicking there. Hope there are no bears, though.


LeAnna Cumber -

Jacksonville City Councilmember LeAnna Cumber dodged the proverbial bullet as the city’s ethics commission “took a hard pass” on looking into whether she “gave a misleading disclosure statement in 2021,” the Times-Union reported. The reason? The two-year statute of limitations had passed. A fellow council member called for an investigation into Cumber’s husband’s involvement in a plan to sell the local public utility and whether she should have disclosed that. Good enough for a win.

Jacky Bravo, Jorge Santin & Victor Vázquez -

These three are literal winners this week, having bested opponents for seats on the Miami Springs City Commission. Jacky Bravo was reelected to the Group 2 seat, Jorge Santin took Group 1 and Victor Vázquez won Group 4, narrowly avoiding a recount. All three will be sworn in for two-year terms on April 10, Florida Politics reported. Incumbent Mayor Maria Puente Mitchell and incumbent Group 3 Commissioner Walter Fajet won reelection last month without opposition.

Art Thomm -

The National Rifle Association’s top Florida lobbyist just checked off his biggest to-do item for this legislative session: Gov. Ron DeSantis signed permitless carry legislation into law. Art Thomm will likely continue pushing for open carry in the state, which wasn’t in this bill, but Florida going permitless carry is a big win for his employer. A majority of U.S. statesnow have similar laws.


Shou Zi Chew -

The head of TikTok saw another domino fall in the social media app’s removal from markets in America. Florida’s public universities have banned the use of the social media app on school WiFi and devices, while prohibiting their social media teams from using the app. Shou Zi Chew’s app is owned by Beijing-based parent company ByteDance, which many GOP officials say is controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.

Reese Goad -

The City of Tallahassee decided to handle a protest outside City Hall by declaring it a park and arresting 11 people who showed up to demonstrate against the Legislature’s proposed ban on abortions after six weeks. (Why they didn’t protest at the Capitol is another story.) It’s still not clear exactly how involved City Manager Reese Goad was in the decision, but as Tallahassee’s top administrator, he’s surely in the “knew or should have known” range – and it makes him look like a First Amendment antagonist.

Chief Keith M. Touchberry and Sheriff Al Nienhuis -

The respective heads of the Florida Police Chief Association and Florida Sheriff’s Association watched as hundreds of millions of dollars in investments from their member law enforcement agencies were apparently flushed away. How? A new DeSantis administration rule has banned the use of drones made by Chinese companies, grounding hundreds of drones owned by police departments. Let’s hope there’s a secondary market for these things.