Looking at the sixteen lobbyists who have made it all the way to the Sweet 16 of TallyMadness — the online voting competition to determine Florida’s “best” lobbyist — it’s difficult to find a weak link. In fact, every one of the lobbyists still dancin’ would make a great addition to either side of any contentious issue.
#1 seed Jon Johnson and his partner, #4 seed Travis Blanton, made their way into the quarterfinals with Johnson knocking off perennial powerhouse Jeff Hartley and Blanton edging Adams Street fave Claudia Davant. Blanton now faces his toughest challenge, going up against the other remaining #1 seed, Nick Iarossi, who handled Jennifer Green in the second round.
#1 seed Ron Book was upset in the second round by #8 Jim Magill, who was rumored to have picked up the tab for all those at the Governors Club who voted his way. Magill’s next opponent is Mercer Fearington, who knocked-off co-defending champ Ron LaFace.
Fearington isn’t the only Souther Strategy Group’er who crashed the Sweet 16. The firm’s managing partner, Chris Dudley, put away Allison Carvajal in a spirited match-up. Carvajal’s partner at Ramba Consulting, David Ramba, lost to former Speaker of the House Dean Cannon in the match-up which drew the most votes. In an interesting twist of fate, Cannon now faces off against one of his firmmates from Capitol Insight, Richard Reeves, who defeated Amy Christian.
Cannon and Reeves’ colleague Alan Suskey continues his Cinderella performance in TallyMadness. The #16 seed defeated Slater Bayliss in the second round. Other Cinderellas still in the Big Dance include #10 seed Scott Ross and #14 seed Monica Rodriguez, who is looking to repeat her championship run from 2013.
Voting in the Sweet 16 of TallyMadness ends at 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday.