Michael Van Sickler will be the new Michael Bender at the Tampa Bay Times

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No one at the Times will confirm it (do they ever?), but look for reporter Michael Van Sickler to be assigned to the vaunted Times/Herald Tallahassee bureau.

Good guy Van Sickler has been covering St. Petersburg’s City Hall since she-who-will-not-be-named-left-for-Nevada.  But Van Sickler has also been doing stints in Tally during the legislative session and, it would seem, passed some sort of unofficial tryout (otherwise known as the Bousquet Games).

It is interesting to note that with Van Sickler transitioning to the Tallahassee bureau, along with the recent departures of David DeCamp and Rita Farlow, the Times will have new reporters covering the three most important governmental organizations in Pinellas (St. Pete’s City Hall, the County Commission and the Pinellas Sheriff’s office).

As I wrote previously, it’s no longer a question of quis custodiet ipsos custodes, it’s a question of who are the custodis.

But enough of that for today, Van Sickler is a genuinely good (if deceptively so) reporter whose work was obviously energized when he was covering state politics. He’s a good addition to an already solid team.

Best of luck, Mike.

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.