Lobbyists Ron LaFace, Frank Mayernick, Rhett O’Doski and Monica Rodriguez to share the 2013 TallyMadness title

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After more than 750,000 votes, 62 match-ups, endless politicking and trash talking, and a plot to hack into the system and change the results, the winner of TallyMadness — the online competition to determine Florida’s “best” lobbyist — is …

Well, actually the winners are Ron LaFace of Capitol City Consulting, Frank Mayernick, Rhett O’Doski, co-founder of Advantage Consulting, and Monica Rodriguez of Ballard Partners.

LaFace, Mayernick, O’Doski, and Rodriguez (now there would be a firm!) each made it to the Final Four of TallyMadness and we’re scheduled to face-off today and tomorrow for the title. However, a hacker broke into the server and rendered the website all but useless.

But don’t let that take away from the accomplishment of these four accomplished advocates. Each received more than 50,000 votes in their first three match-ups en route to the Final Four. 

The decision to share the 2013 title was made in consultation with each of the participants and several members of the selection committee which determined and seeded this year’s competitors.

“My little girls were so proud to see their Mama included,” said co-champion Monica Rodriguez. “And it’s an honor to co-win the first ever Steve Madden trophy. I want to thank my friends, family and colleagues who voted for me. As the 15th seed I’d like to include a quote from one of the great movies of all time “Caddyshack: ‘He’s a Cinderella boy. Tears in his eyes …  Out of nowhere … Now about to become Steve Madden Champion it looks like a miracle, it’s in the hole’ “

Each of the co-champions also wished to honor the 2011 TallyMadness winner, the late, great Steve Madden.

“It’s fitting that it takes four co-winners to match the prowess of last year’s winner, Steve Madden,” said co-champion Ron LaFace. “I am honored to be among them.”

The co-champions, as well as TallyMadness creator Peter Schorsch, have agreed to make a combined contribution of at least $2,000 to the Steve Madden Memorial Fund.

“This was a fun spirited contest and I applaud Peter Schorsch for bringing awareness to the Steve Madden Memorial Fund,” said co-champion Rhett O’Doski.  “Steve is missed everyday and I know his humor and elections insight would have been much appreciated during this contest.  I hope other contestants join us in making a contribution to the fund.”

Co-champion Frank Mayernick also mentioned Madden’s humor when talking about what he enjoyed most about TallyMadness. “This tournament was a lot like Steve. It was fun. It was friendly. It was about the bests part of this business.

Those interested in joining the co-champions in making a contribution to the Steve Madden Memorial Fund may coordinate with me via email ([email protected]) or contribute directly to the fund by mailing a check to: Post Office Box 10805, Tallahassee, Florida 32302.

Thank you to all of you who participated in TallyMadness 2013, whether it be as a competitor, member of the selection committee, or voter. 

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, 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.