The 50-year-old third-term state representative from Trinity owes his number one ranking (up from #6 in 2014) to two significant developments: his appointment to the head of House Appropriations, and the official announcement last fall that made him House speaker for the 2016-2018 legislative session.
Richard Corcoran is the former chief of staff for then-Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio, an adviser for former Speakers Daniel Webster and Tom Feeney, as well as the brother of prominent Tallahassee lobbyist Mike Corcoran.
He’s also the chair of the Joint Legislative Budget Commission and is closely aligned with Rubio, whose future remains bright in whatever position he lands in the coming years.
And, in a noteworthy comment about how he’ll operate as House speaker, Corcoran distanced himself recently from Will Weatherford and current House Speaker Steve Crisafulli when he announced he had no intention of heading out to King Ranch in Texas to raise money for 2016 House races. “I want the fundraising to be open and transparent,” he declared.
That attitude doesn’t surprise Pasco County tax collector and former longtime state legislator Mike Fasano, who says he’s known Corcoran for nearly 30 years.
“He’s the type of guy that’s not going to continue what is going on in Tallahassee with special interests, corporate welfare and things like that,” Fasano says. “I believe you’re going to see some major changes when he becomes speaker, and it’s going to be a positive change for the state.”
For a complete explanation of how this list was created and who comprised the panel that assembled it, please read here.