Winners & Losers

This week’s biggest Winners & Losers

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

It was a mixed bag this week for Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody. On the one hand, a U.S. appeals court gave her a win, approving rulings that blocked Biden administration immigration policies. As our friends at the News Service reported, the policies included releasing migrants into the country amid overcrowding at detention facilities. Ah, but on the other hand, two leading Florida attorneys put her on blast for standing in the way of legalizing recreational – whoops, “adult use” – marijuana, which polls are running in favor of by up to 70%. Maybe she can start bringing dogs to Cabinet meetings? Just a thought.


Lauren Book & Nikki Fried -

Florida’s top Democrats – and their allies – are getting a break. Nikki Fried, the state Democratic Party chair, and Senate Democratic Leader Lauren Book had all their charges dropped, along with 10 other individuals, after an abortion protest outside Tallahassee City Hall earlier this year. State Attorney Jack Campbell just didn’t want the political spectacle. Maybe the city should have taken a similar tack before they designated the front of City Hall a public park and arrested the group with news outlets present?

Charlie Crist -

The former governor and loser in the last election for governor was tapped to be an ambassador – albeit for an organization we never heard of. He’ll need Senate approval, but Charlie Crist was named “U.S. representative to the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization.” The group “works to create international uniformity in air navigation regulations and standards” before the United Nations, The Hill explained. Yay? And he does get to go to Manhattan.

Fred Hawkins -

No higher education leadership experience? No problem! In Florida, you can still become president of a state college. Fred Hawkins, a St. Cloud Republican in the Florida House, was selected by South Florida State College trustees to succeed retiring President Thomas Leitzel. In 2020, Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended Hawkins from the Osceola County Commission following charges of impersonating a law-enforcement officer. But in Tallahassee, the lawmaker also carried the bill to kill the Reedy Creek district.


Anthony DeFillipo -

If facing felony voter fraud charges weren’t enough, Anthony DeFillipo was suspended on Monday by Gov. Ron DeSantis. In the wake of allegations that he actually lived in the town of Davie – but voted in and served as mayor of North Miami Beach – DeFillipo now sits without a day job, to the delight of several members of the city commission. Will they get along with their (likely) incoming Republican mayor if DeSantis appoints one? We’ll see.

Gayle Harrell & Juan Carlos Porras -

These Republican lawmakers were first! … to have bills from the 2023 session vetoed. State Sen. Gayle Harrell’s measure, a priority of Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, would have added restrictions about titles used by medical professionals and required wearing name tags with patients. Rep. Juan Porras’ bill dealt with Florida’s involvement in an agreement that allows telehealth across state lines, allowing states to collect fees for practicing under that agreement. Better luck next year!

Erik Wallenberg -

Another New College employee is packing his bags amid Gov. Ron DeSantis’ ideological shakeup of the Sarasota liberal arts school. This visiting U.S. history professor did not have his contract renewed after having Black historian – and DeSantis critic – Marvin Dunn speak to his class. As of now, the college doesn’t employ any U.S. history faculty members, so add that to the list of things Corcoran and Co. are rebuilding from the ground up.