Winners & Losers

This week’s biggest Winners & Losers

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

Don’t call Vivek Ramaswamy a winner just yet. He’s just getting closer to being one. Here’s the big reason: The biotech entrepreneur is slowly narrowing the gap between himself and Ron DeSantis in the race for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. Well, at least according to one poll released by Echelon Insights this week. It “found Trump as the frontrunner at 49% while DeSantis notched 16% in second place and Ramaswamy 10% in third,” The Hill reported. (The margin of error is plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.) We still wanna know what they talked about at that private meeting they had in Tallahassee last year.


Tina Descovich & Tiffany Justice -

Being labeled an extremist group by the Southern Poverty Law Center has not slowed the rise of the conservative parent group Mom’s For Liberty. The group’s summit in Philadelphia featured most of the heavy hitters in the Republican Party presidential primary, including former president Donald Trump, current Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley. A speaker’s list like that showcases the group’s meteoric rise in conservative circles – and they likely won't go away soon.

Marcellus Osceola Jr. -

A federal appeals court panel handed a big win to Seminole Tribe of Florida Chairman Marcellus W. Osceola Jr., overturning a ruling that blocked a deal giving the tribe control over sports betting throughout the state. The gambling deal promises to “lead to over $20 billion in revenues” for the state, a spokesman for Gov. Ron DeSantis said. So we’re in the money? Not quite yet: The plaintiffs have until today to further appeal the decision.

Scot Peterson -

The former Broward sheriff’s deputy literally dodged bullets when he ran away from the Parkland high school shooting, which ended with 17 students and staff killed in 2018. Now Scot Peterson has dodged a guilty verdict and a possible prison sentence with his acquittal by jury on child neglect and negligence charges. Survivors and others were livid: “The good guy with the gun didn’t do his job,” tweeted U.S. Rep. Jared Moskowitz, a Stoneman Douglas grad.


Steve Cortes -

You don’t need to check the Vegas odds to know DeSantis is an underdog to Trump in the Republican primary, but now even people in his camp are openly recognizing that. The spokesman for the DeSantis-aligned PAC Never Back Down admitted on a Twitter Space chat that the contest is an uphill battle against the former president. While Cortes still says he is hopeful his candidate will catch up, it’s easy to wonder whether messaging admitting the campaign is floundering will inspire confidence amongst DeSantis supporters.

Randy Fine -

Members of Florida’s LGTBQ+ community likely collectively breathed a sigh of relief when Randy Fine’s name wasn’t on the list of finalists for Florida Atlantic University’s vacant presidential post. His name was floated around as a potential DeSantis-favored candidate, but that didn’t come to fruition. We wish there was more information about why that is, but a law passed during the governor’s tenure has made university president hiring processes confidential and outside public scrutiny.

Jan Killilea -

Opponents of changes to the state’s alimony laws have been sweating for years as various attempts to change the system have failed to make it out of the Legislature, or passed and were later vetoed. Their luck finally ran out as Gov. Ron DeSantis finally signed a bill that gets rid of what’s known as “permanent alimony.” Jan Killilea, founder of the First Wives Advocacy Group, was one of the faces of the fight – now lost – to protect alimony recipients.