This week’s biggest Winners & Losers

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

Winners & Losers

Winners & Losers City & State

Gov. Ron DeSantis had a mixed week. He performed much better in this week’s Republican primary debate, bringing the fight to Donald Trump. But he’s still plummeting in the polls while the former president increases his lead every day. Claims that he abused detainees at Guantanamo were debunked by the New York Times. But in Gainesville, three of his appointments to a utility board aren’t even legally eligible to hold the position. The governor's backing populist Republicans to force a national budget holdout, but that holdout is boosting (for now) friend-turned-enemy U.S. Rep Matt Gaetz, who could run for Florida governor in 2026 against a DeSantis-backed heir apparent. Read on to see who had a more clear-cut case for this week's Winners & Losers list.


Melissa Castro, Ariel Fernandez & Kirk Menendez -

One day, this will be packaged into an oppo ad in Coral Gables: “Remember that time commissioners voted themselves huge raises – with your dollars?” To be fair, it was only the three members of Coral Gables’ city commission mentioned above who voted for it, but all will benefit. Also approved was “$8,446 annual car allowances for the mayor and commissioners, which they previously did not have,” the Herald reported. Public service does pay!

Maxwell Frost -

In one of his first efforts at legislating, U.S. Rep. Maxwell Frost filed a bill to create a federal Office of Gun Violence Prevention. The trouble is, he’s a Democrat and the House is controlled by Republicans. But President Joe Biden, a fellow Democrat, thought it was a good idea, so he created it by executive order. And, icing on the cake, the Gen Z lawmaker got a nice photo op in the Rose Garden.

Rob Long -

Delray Beach’s vice mayor gets to breathe the sweet sigh of relief now that the Florida Commission on Ethics has cleared him after an ethics complaint. The investigation was into “votes he cast as a member of the Planning and Zoning Board prior to being elected as a city commissioner earlier this year,” the Sun Sentinel reported. Turns out Long never had a business relationship that would have caused conflicts. “It was just political,” he told the paper.


Melinda Miguel -

The state chief inspector general’s idea of doing a “holistic” review seemingly involves not actually inspecting anything. After allegations that the Florida Department of Education under now-New College of Florida President Richard Corcoran tried to steer a $4 million contract to Corcoran’s business partner, Miguel passed the task of investigating to the department’s internal inspector general office. That office promptly sat on it, pulling no records and conducting no interviews. If she did her job, maybe a federal grand jury investigation wouldn’t have been necessary.

Mike Reininger -

The launch of Brightline’s Orlando to Miami line has been long anticipated, but the launch day was plagued with the same problems the company has faced since it began running its first passenger rail lines. A few hours.before the inaugural cross-state trip began, one of its trains struck and killed someone, delaying the launch and reminding everyone that Brightline has the highest train collision death rate in the country. That’s not a good way for CEO Mike Reininger to sell a product to residents and tourists alike.

Francis Suarez -

Miami’s mayor may have failed to court even 1% support in the Republican presidential primary, but he’s having no problem holding the attention of investigators. Already being looked at by the FBI for potential corruption allegations, the Florida Ethics Commission is now probing him for accepting gifts to the Miami Formula One Grand Prix and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar from people with business before the city. Now all he needs is the FEC to look into him failing to fulfill his $20 gift card promise to donors and he’ll hold the public corruption investigation triple crown.