Home FloridaPolitics.com "Sunburn" Sunburn — The Morning Read Of What’s Hot In Florida Politics —...

Sunburn — The Morning Read Of What’s Hot In Florida Politics — 11.22.21

At this point, both Ron DeSantis and Marco Rubio are on solid footing.

Good Monday morning.

Before it gets too late into the holiday season, we thought it wise to check the temperature on Florida’s 2022 statewide races. So, we commissioned a survey from St. Pete Polls, and here’s what they found.

Both Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen. Marco Rubio appear in good shape against their likely Democratic opponents.

The poll, taken Nov. 18 and 19, shows DeSantis leading the two most prominent Democrats challenging his re-election. If the election were held today between DeSantis and Rep. Charlie Crist, the Governor would take almost 51% to the St. Petersburg Democrat’s nearly 45%. In a head-to-head with Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, DeSantis takes just over 51% to 42%.

Rubio also holds the lead against Rep. Val Demings, his most prominent Democratic challenger. In the federal race, pollsters found 51% would vote for Rubio, while just over 44% would pick the Orlando Democrat.

Perhaps more important is that both Republican incumbents clear the 50% mark with voters in the head-to-head matchups. Pollsters, who included responses from 2,896 active voters, report just a 1.8% margin of error. But that shows challengers most likely will have to peel votes away, not just win over undecideds, to win next fall.

You can read the full story about the poll here.


The Southern Group continued its streak as Florida’s top-earning lobbying firm with $5.6 million in earnings last quarter.

The Southern Group recently won the title of “Lobbying Firm of the Year.”

The firm is now celebrating its third consecutive No. 1 quarter, and the three-peat comes shortly after TSG earned a Golden Rotunda for “Lobbying Firm of the Year.

“I know at this point I’m supposed to say something high-minded and stilted about professionalism and teamwork that sounds like it was written by a PR professional, but really the reason we’re on top is because we’ve been busting our asses since the pandemic began and now you’re seeing the results,” TSG Chairman Paul Bradshaw said.

Ballard Partners took No. 2 with $5.1 million in receipts last quarter. Though it’s no longer the firm to beat, its revenues grew by an impressive $700,000 compared to Q2.

Capital City Consulting ranked third with a $4.1 million haul, $2.2 million of it earned in the Legislature.

“Capital City Consulting has shown strong continuous growth over the last 10 years, but more recently, our team members are in high demand as companies navigated COVID, an influx of federal dollars to the state, and other unique opportunities,” said CCC co-founder Nick Iarossi, who recently won the Golden Rotunda for “Lobbyist of the Year.”

Meanwhile, Ron Book and longtime lobbying partners Rana Brown and Kelly Mallette reported $2.5 million earned across 101 contracts, including four crossing six figures.

“In this process, being successful is about respecting the process, respecting the people, and finding a way — through hard work and long hours — to be successful on behalf of our clients,” Book said. “This often means very long nights and very early mornings, but in the end, we are not measured by how hard we work but by what we are able to achieve. That is why, Session after Session and year after year, we continue to grow and succeed.”

GrayRobinson was No. 5 with a $2.2 million haul. The new compensation reports make for two quarters in a row where GrayRobinson was indisputably among the Top-5 earning firms in the state.

Firm president Dean Cannon and the lobbying team represented 192 last quarter. The list included several Fortune 500 companies, such as JPMorgan Chase, PepsiCo, Aramark, Sodexo and Deloitte.


After three years of helping Converge Public Strategies build a state and local government affairs program that’s received international attention within tech circles, Cesar Fernandez is joining another fast-growing tech startup.

Fernandez will join Pacaso’s public affairs team, in which he will oversee several markets in the United States.

Good news about a great guy: Cesar Fernandez moves to the next tech startup.

Pacaso, founded by Zillow alumni Spencer Rascoff and Austin Allison, aims to create a new category of second-home co-ownership.

The company is valued at $1.5 billion and facilitates the co-ownership of second homes by setting up property-specific LLCs for up to 8 people who aspire to own a second home, marketing the homes in partnership with local real estate professionals, and providing property management services after each home’s sale.

“We’re thrilled to have Cesar on the Pacaso team,” said Colin Tooze, Pacaso’s vice president of Public Affairs and Communications. “Cesar’s insights and strategic counsel will be enormously valuable to Pacaso as the company continues to work with government officials across the country to help more people invest in local communities and achieve their dreams of second-home ownership.”

For the past seven years, Fernandez has been advocating for some of the country’s most innovative companies. After spending nearly four years at Uber, he represented tech companies at Converge, such as Zillow, Nuro, Cruise, Blockchain.com, Lilium, REEF, Revel, Spin, and Vivid Seats.

“We are excited for Cesar. He brings world-class talent to Pacaso as the company brings its innovative model into markets around the world. Converge seeks to be a center of talent in the innovation economy, and Cesar is a prime example of what we stand for,” said Jonathan Kilman, Chairman of Converge.

Fernandez, who was named partner at Converge earlier this year, will join the firm’s recently-formed advisory board, made up of high-profile government affairs professionals throughout the country.


One final request to let us know what you’re grateful for this year.

We will publish the comments in tomorrow’s edition of Sunburn — the last one for the holiday week.

Please send your responses to Peter@FloridaPolitics.com.


@BarackObama: Happy birthday to my friend and my brother, @POTUS! Thanks for giving all of us the gift of better infrastructure. Grateful for all you’re doing to build this country back better.

Tweet, tweet:


Tweet, tweet:


@ClayTravis: There is zero evidence Kyle Rittenhouse is a White supremacist. Zero. This trial opened many American eyes to how much the left-wing media chooses narrative over fact. The lies overwhelm the truth for many. But the red-pilled tide just keeps growing.

Tweet, tweet:




@YvonneHinsonFL: It’s past time for this to end but appointing Ricky Dixson gives us more of the same.

@DannyBurgessFL: It’s time strawberries get their just desserts! Florida recognizes Key Lime pie as the official state pie, but @RepMcClure and I filed legislation to designate the official state dessert: the strawberry shortcake.?

@SteveSchale: For everyone freaking out about the Key Lime Pie, that is already enshrined in state law as the “State Pie” … So under @RepMcClure proposal, you can have your pie, and eat your cake too.

Tweet, tweet:



FloridaPolitics, excerpt posted on  SouthFloridaReporter.comNov. 22, 2021

Republished with permission