Winners & Losers

This week’s biggest Winners & Losers

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

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez’s presidential campaign announcement video started with “I have always been a runner.” But in this race, he only got up to a speed walk. He officially dropped out of the running just two months in after failing to make it onto the first Republican primary debate stage. We dinged him for being a loser last week because a blindfolded person could see this outcome coming. You don’t need internal memos to know bribing people to give $1 donations with $20 gift cards is a sign your campaign isn’t going well. Now that he’s done, maybe he can focus on getting more personal contracts with people that have business before the city.


Ron DeSantis & Joe Biden -

Florida’s governor and the president of the United States aren’t friends. There have been plenty of press conferences and campaign statements where the two find opportunities to snipe at each other. However, the way that the two have put aside their differences to collaborate in order to protect Floridians from Hurricane Idalia deserves respect. This is the second time they did this when a major storm threatened the state, demonstrating they can put politics aside when it matters most.

Antonio Bailey -

A white supremacist shooter who targeted Black people in Jacksonville originally planned to target the HBCU Edward Waters University. But this campus security guard received tips from students and followed protocol to get him to leave campus before he could suit up. While the murderer ultimately targeted a Dollar General, the university would have been a more densely populated location where even more people could have been killed.

Michael DiNapoli -

At first, the news was that the head of the Florida Housing Finance Corp. had been suspended following allegations of misconduct, specifically that Michael DiNapoli had “created a hostile work environment at FHFC,” as the USA TODAY Network-Florida reported. Then, somewhat all of a sudden, it was as if Frank Drebin was out front, yelling “Nothing to see here!” Gov. Ron DeSantis reinstated DiNapoli, with a spokesperson saying that the “inquiry into FHFC to date has found nothing ….” OK then!


Barbara Sharief -

Though she’s no longer in office, Barbara Sharief was mayor of Broward County when the county commission did not move forward after a 2017 report recommending they replace aging helicopters. Over five years later, one of those helicopters crashed, killing two people, including a fire rescue captain. While new helicopters should be coming after the tragedy, it might have been avoided if action was taken sooner.

Carlos E. Jordá -

We guess somebody pressed “diesel” when they should have hit “regular.” Somehow, diesel fuel was accidentally mixed with regular gasoline at the Port of Tampa, causing 17 stations that carry Citgo products to have to close ahead of the hurricane. Now Citgo CEO Carlos E. Jordá has a business and PR headache he’ll be dealing with for a while.

John Robert Ring Jr. -

How often do you read a start to a news story like this? “John Robert Ring Jr., the Tampa political player known as Giovanni Fucarino, whose sex offender past and ties to high-level city officials including Mayor Jane Castor touched off a scandal this spring, pleaded guilty Thursday to a single criminal charge and received a probation sentence.” Everyone involved in this story looks bad. And who comes up with a pseudonym like that?