Winners & Losers

This week’s biggest Winners & Losers

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

Whether you think Donald Trump came out a winner or a loser of Thursday night’s CNN town hall, the town hall itself came out a flop. “Unruly,” the New York Times called it. “Lie-strewn,” the Guardian blared. “A disaster,” Slate magazine declared. CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, who hosted the town hall, came out OK. Most critics gave her good marks for completing a thankless job, including grilling Trump on the stash of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago. “You're a nasty person, I'll tell ya,” he shot back, which had us hoping she’d answer, “My name is Kaitlyn … Ms. Collins, if you're nasty.”


Lauren Book -

It was a bleak session for Florida Democrats, but the Florida Senate Democratic leader at least got one of her long-time asks across the finish line. She had been pushing to eliminate sales tax on baby diapers for seven years, and the measure has been locked in as part of this year’s tax cut package. Regardless of whether Gov. Ron DeSantis tries to take credit (and he kinda did), this victory is Book’s.

Glen Gilzean -

Say goodbye to the Reedy Creek Improvement District and hello to the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, the quasi-governmental body for Walt Disney World. Every new board needs a boss, and Ron DeSantis ally Glen Gilzean got the job. Which may turn out to be a headache – but the $400,000 a year salary (damn!) will enable him to buy plenty of Advil. Enough for a win in our book.

Mark Rendell -

Being a school district superintendent in Florida can be a rough job these days, but Mark Rendell won the job in Brevard. Rendell, currently principal at Cocoa Beach Jr./Sr. High School, will be Brevard Public Schools' next top administrator. Of course, he starts amid Jennifer Jenkins, the school board’s only Democrat, calling the search process “shameful.” Hey, it’s Florida … would we have it any other way? (Well, probably.)


Elizabeth Scherer -

This is one of those break-ups that’s probably for the best. Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer – who presided over the Parkland school shooter’s trial – is resigning from the bench, coincidentally after a smackdown from the Florida Supreme Court. The court yanked her off a death row inmate’s case over concerns raised when she hugged victims’ family members and prosecutors at the end of the Parkland trial. She forgot the Seinfeld rule.

Eddie Speir -

All he had to do was not show up. Eddie Speir was the only one of the governor’s appointments to the New College of Florida board of trustees to attend the Florida Senate’s confirmation hearing – and he ended up being the only one not confirmed. Maybe feuding with lawmakers and taking to Twitter to spew conspiracy accusations at your fellow appointees isn’t the best way to endear yourself to Florida politicians. He could still get reappointed by Ron DeSantis, but lawmakers have long memories.

Enrique Tarrio -

Miami’s own resident insurrectionist isn’t going to be out and about anytime soon. Ex-Proud Boy leader Enrique Tarrio and three fellow co-defendants were convicted late last week of seditious conspiracy thanks to the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. He joins almost 700 people who have been convicted of crimes committed during the attack. Tarrio’s sentencing is next month, and he could face as much as 20 years in prison. On the flip side, that’s plenty of time to write a book.