Winners & Losers

This week’s biggest Winners & Losers

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

No budget vetoes, no cry? Depends on what part of The Process you’re in. “Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law the state budget Thursday but provided no immediate detail on the final size of the package or what programs and projects he may have vetoed,” the USA TODAY Network-Florida reported. And since we still don’t know by our Thursday afternoon deadline, we won’t be doing a Budget Edition of Winners & Losers. (Late breaking news: The governor axed almost $511 million dollars’ worth of projects and other items. Ouch!) The spending plan was around $117 billion. The good news for lobbyists: Those who may have bad news to deliver to clients got to put it off.


Jennifer Canady -

In the bizarre custom of the Florida House to select its leadership at timeframes that rival the heat death of the universe, state Rep. Jennifer Canady has seemingly sewn up the race for speaker in 2028-30. That puts her after – let’s see – current Speaker Paul Renner, then Danny Perez, then Sam Garrison. She’ll be the first woman to lead the chamber in state history – assuming the GOP still has a majority. (Can’t say we’re worried about that.)

Terrence Connor -

The long search for Sarasota County Schools’ next superintendent is over. While he didn’t win over all the members of the school board, being selected in a narrow 3-2 vote, Terrence Connor did garner support from both Republican and Democrat-aligned school board members in a district that’s at the center of the rise of the parental rights in education movement. Let’s see if he can survive in that climate.

Greg Douglas -

The governor put his signature on a bill that bans most direct-to-consumer vehicle sales, a measure that was – surprise! – championed and authored by lobbyists representing the Florida Automobile Dealers Association, Florida Politics reports. Not that there have been a lot of vetoes this year, but Greg Douglas of Douglas Jeep Chrysler Dodge in Sarasota, who’s chairman of the FLADA board, needs to buy his lobbyists passes for the day spa.


Mike Burke -

Florida’s fifth-largest school district is expected to get a good chunk smaller thanks to the voucher expansion passed this year. Palm Beach County School’s superintendent is set to see the district lose thousands of students. Meanwhile, the expected number of district kids on vouchers is expected to double to 16,000 – and the growth is expected to continue over the next several years.

Michael Kepner II -

The beginning of this Orlando Sentinel story was chilling: “The man leading the University of Central Florida’s military outreach program was once convicted in a court martial related to allegations that he had sexually harassed and assaulted a female lieutenant under his command.” That described Michael Kepner ll, who was hired by UCF after getting fired from Valencia College. This revelation is bad for the university; let’s hope they figure out the right resolution.

Donald Trump -

While this is the former president’s second round of criminal charges this year, the severity and tone of the alleged crimes this time around is unprecedented. Thirty-seven federal charges, including espionage, is nothing to scoff at. Some Republicans have even condemned him for this round, and a conviction might actually damage him politically. However, the charges aren’t hurting him so far in polls with his party.