Previewing TallyMadness: #1 Brian Ballard vs. #16 Alan Suskey; #1 Nick Iarossi vs. #16 Bill Peebles

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As TallyMadness – the online voting competition to determine who is the “best” lobbyist in Florida — gets underway today, we preview some of the interesting first-round match-ups.

#1 Brian Ballard vs. #16 Alan Suskey 

You might think that this matchup between No. 1 seed Brian Ballard and No. 16 seed Alan Suskey is a closed case. 

And if the judge in this competition were simple stats – the length of the lobbyist’s client roster or the compensation reported last year – you might be thinking right. But TallyMadness is about more than that. 

TallyMadness is a contest of lobbying acumen as seen by a diverse universe of peers. And when it comes to acumen, these two veterans are most certainly a match. Voters are those these two men lobby, those they compete with, and those they represent. Don’t hold your breath. 

The victor moves on to the Second Round and will face either No. 8 seed Slater Bayliss or No. 9 seed Fred Leonhardt.   

#1 Nick Iarossi v #16 Bill Peebles 

No. 1 seed Nick Iarossi, sometimes bearded, sometimes not, but always wearing his tie tied right, faces No. 16 seed Bill Peebles in the 1st Round of TallyMadness. 

The near universal man-crush on Iarossi may or may not come to his aid in this battle of peers. Peebles, municipal lobbying magnate, has been recognized by Florida Trend as being among Florida’s top in the field. The word “municipal” is found in at least four of his current clients. And the word “city”… well, why bother counting. 

Iarossi and Peebles may not share clients but they do share this: both know the value of keeping a lobbying team small and involved. Clients know that when they go with either they’ll have their personal attention. 

The winner of this contest moves on to the 2nd Round and will face either No. 8 seed Jennifer Green or No. 9 seed Fred Karlinsky.

First-round voting closes on Monday, April 7th.

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.