JThe first round of voting for TallyMadness — an online voting competition to determine Florida’s “best” lobbyist — was defined by a heartwarming upset and several razor-thin matches, most of which resulted in surprising upsets.
#16 seed Steve Madden, behind whom much of Tallahassee’s lobby corps rallied after news of his health problems circulated, pulled off the most dramatic upset, defeating #1 seed Brian Ballard.
“What you’re doing with Tally Madness (sic) is actually more important than you could ever imagine now that this is about Steve (Madden),” said one online friend who sent methat message via Twitter.
The other major upset in the first round of TallyMadness was #15 seed Chris Flack’s defeat of #2 seed Mark Delegal. Flack, the chief lobbyist for Progress Energy, benefitted from a strong outpouring among voters in Tampa Bay.
But Madden and Flack’s upsets were only two of several upsets which defined the first round of voting in TallyMadness. In one bracket, #12 seed Fred Karlinsky surprised #5 seed Marion Hammer and #11 seed Jerry Paul defeated #6 seed Slater Bayliss. In another bracket, #12 seed Michael Corcoran and #13 seed Barney Bishop upset their opponents in the first round. In the fourth bracket, #5 seed held off #12 seed Missy Timmins, while Allison DeFoor appeared to benefit from an anti-Rick Scott movement in his defeat of Scott ally Bill Rubin.
In total, more than 7,000 votes wer cast during the first round of TallyMadness. Voting for the second round — to determine the Sweet 16 of Florida’s lobby corp is open until midnight on Monday, March 28.