Winners & Losers

This week’s biggest Winners & Losers

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

While his son is making history in Washington, former Florida Senate President Don Gaetz’s comeback bid is looking like smooth sailing. His campaign welcomed GOP bookkeeping savant Nancy Watkins as treasurer. He signed documents to launch a political committee the day before he officially entered the race. A conversation with former state Rep. Frank White was all he needed to clear the field. It’s still about a year out before we’ll have election results for the Florida SD 1 race, though, which is the only reason the elder Gaetz isn’t on this list just yet.


Anne Coglianese -

Jacksonville’s chief resilience officer dodged a bullet this week. Yes, “Anne Coglianese played a role in the award of three city contracts to Louisiana organizations that employed people she had a ‘personal or professional relationship’ with,” the Times-Union reported. But an inspector general’s review cleared her of breaking “any ethics or procurement laws.” Gotta be honest: It still seems a bit, um, weird, but it’s a win.

Matt Gaetz -

The Florida lawmaker may not win a popularity contest in his party’s congressional caucus, but he’s secured his place in the national spotlight – and in the history books – by ousting Kevin McCarthy as House speaker. Regardless of how the latest countdown to a federal government shutdown plays out, Gaetz’s name will be in the Florida gubernatorial rumor mill until he makes a decision one way or the other. The theatrics should also make bank for his campaign coffers as well.

Steven Losner -

The easiest of all calls that Winners & Losers makes: Winning an election. It warms our hearts, really. “Homestead voters chose to keep Mayor Steven Losner in office for four more years, selecting him by a large margin over Vice Mayor Julio Guzman for the city’s most prominent elected office,” Florida Politics reported. It didn’t hurt that “the city’s central greenspace bears his family’s name: Losner Park.” No, it certainly did not.


Armando Pimentel -

The state’s Supreme Court handed a loss to Florida Power & Light, turning back a proposed rate settlement between the company and state utility regulators that, among other things, has resulted “in $1.25 billion so far in electric rate increases.” The high court told everyone they needed to show their work, basically, and explain how this was the best outcome. FPL CEO Armando Pimentel now has to go back to the drawing board. 

Ryan Terry -

The revolving door that is the New College of Florida administration and faculty hit this communications exec in the rear almost as soon as he stepped in. The former VP of the university’s communications and marketing was ousted after he “didn’t go toe-to-toe with the media like DeSantis does.” Add his position to the growing list of vacancies the metamorphosing liberal arts college is going to have to fill. Failing to build synergistic relationships with the college communities and the press will definitely help with that.

Harvey Ward -

The mayor of Gainesville must not like the writing on the wall about the future of his city’s regional utility. After the state Legislature ripped control of the Gainesville Regional Utility from his City Council with the promise it would be filled with a board predominantly from Gainesville, all the appointees are Republicans and all but one are from outside the city. If you’re Ward or any other local elected official, you’re seeing that as a giant “for sale” sign being hung at the power plant gates.