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‘Intergrity’ cited as the trait Floridians most value in their leaders

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The single secret to success and victory for political candidates in Florida’s most important election in modern history may come down to one simple but elusive character trait: Integrity. According to new findings by the Leadership Florida/Nielsen Company 2010 Sunshine State Survey, released today, 48% of those polled (10 points more than last year’s survey) cited “integrity” as the trait Floridians most value in their leaders and in those who want to serve in leadership. This is four times more than any other trait cited, well above “intelligence,” which was a distant second with 12%.

The survey also validated the fact that residents are paying close attention to government and public affairs. Of those polled, 87% of Floridians feel very well informed, value the importance of being “in the know,” and are paying attention to what is happening in their state.

“The attentiveness of Florida respondents to government and public affairs is higher than that for other states,” said Dr. Carol S. Weissert, LeRoy Collins Eminent Scholar and Professor of Political Science at Florida State University. “This attention provides a real opportunity for government leaders to embark on smart, comprehensive, long-term solutions to economic and social problems that have intensified during the hard times of the past few years.”

Survey results also reflect that Floridians, as Americans elsewhere, believe they were hurt by a colossal breach of trust by the twin national institutions of big business and government. As a result, the segment of modern Florida society most trusted by the public is neither government nor business; it is social service and non-profit agencies that have risen to meet historic new levels of need in a failing economy.

“It is heartening that the dedicated work of our human services and non-profit organizations properly enjoys a high level of trust among the people of Florida,” said Doug Sessions, CEO of the Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida. “Now, in difficult times, we need for government to display the same level of trust in these groups as the people do by properly funding them to help meet the needs of those we serve.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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