Winners & Losers

This week’s biggest Winners & Losers

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

Because we’re on the social media platform formerly known as Twitter far too much, we noticed Florida Politics publisher Peter Schorsch responding to the buzzy interview Gov. Ron DeSantis gave to Time magazine. Asked how he’d respond if one of his children turns out to be gay or trans, the governor answered, “We'll leave that – we’ll leave that between my wife and I.” Schorsch posted, “This is all but disqualifying, not just as a presidential candidate, but as a human being. You just say you will love your child. Period. Shame on @RonDeSantis.” That earned Schorsch both enmity and praise, suggesting the guv is both winner and loser to many for his cagey non-answer.


Roger Gannam -

The governor named Roger Gannam to the Sixth District Court of Appeals, succeeding Meredith Sasso, who’s now a state Supreme Court justice. One notable detail about Gannam is that he comes from Liberty Counsel, which advances “religious freedom, the sanctity of human life and the family through strategic litigation.” Or, as the Southern Poverty Law Center calls it, “a legal organization advocating for anti-LGBT discrimination under the guise of religious liberty.” But hey, he’s on the bench, so Gannam gets the last laugh.

Eric Holder -

Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder heads the National Redistricting Foundation, which is wrangling an agreement that “could result in the reinstatement of a north Florida district formerly held by a Black Democrat,” former U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, according to Politico. So put a procedural win down for the foundation. Whether the man known in Tallahassee as “Big Al” returns to Congress some day … well, we’ll believe it when we see it.

David Rancourt -

The Republican consolidation of the New College of Florida’s administration just took another step forward. David Rancourt, one of the founders of The Southern Group lobbying firm and a former deputy chief of staff to Jeb Bush, was named the university’s dean of student affairs. Critics of DeSantis’ New College takeover have blasted his hiring despite a lack of university administration experience, but Rancourt’s former colleagues praised the appointment. Regardless, he’ll be under the media microscope.


Mike DiNapoli -

There is no good news in the ongoing saga of Mike DiNapoli, the man picked by Gov. Ron DeSantis to lead the Florida Housing Finance Corp., which acts as the state’s housing finance agency. After he was suspended pending an inspector general’s investigation for reasons unknown, the Tampa Bay Times reported that eight years before he took the job, “DiNapoli’s finances – and career – appeared to be in shambles.” So yeah, there’s that.

Glen Gilzean -

The chair of Florida’s Commission on Ethics is dealing with an ethics firestorm of his own making. First reported by Florida Bulldog, Glen Gilzean’s post conflicted with his new job as administrator of Disney World’s new oversight district. The commission’s lawyer issued a legal opinion that basically says he has to step down from one of the positions. Odds are it won’t be the one paying him a $400,000 salary.

Anthony Sabatini -

The first thing taught at universities is that Wikipedia is not a reliable source. We are shocked, SHOCKED, that Anthony Sabatini, a former Florida Capitol basement dweller, didn’t seem to figure that out. He reportedly plagiarized full paragraphs for his undergraduate thesis at the University of Florida, on the right wing academics in 1920s and 1930s Germany. It’s probably time to start running his X posts and speeches through