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.
#4 Paul Bradshaw v #13 Jeff Johnston
Paul Bradshaw — the most visible low-profile lobbyist, or at least the lowest-profile genius you’re likely to meet — sits as a No. 4 seed in TallyMadness, the online voting competition to determine Florida’s “best” lobbyist. And he faces another who cannot be underestimated: No. 13 seed Jeff Johnston.
Johnston lobbies for a range of interests that are impressively diverse: TECO Energy, Verizon, WellCare, Miami Children’s Hospital, American Traffic Solutions, and the Buccaneers. And more. I just don’t feel like tiring out my hands before needing to do the same on Bradshaw, whose list includes the likes of Florida Blue, The Everglades Foundation, Peoples Gas System, and Scripps.
The biggest difference between the two iconic lobbyists is the size of the teams around them. While Bradshaw literally founded the concept of firm-based lobbying, and can boast the largest and among the most profitable such organizations we know, Johnston is one of four in a lean-but-mean firm.
This battle of gents could be a big wild card. The winner of this round will face either No. 5 seed Gus Corbella or No. 12 seed Gerald Wester in the 2nd Round.
#1 Jon Johnson vs. #16 Keyna Cory
If there were a contest of whom you would rather have dinner with or go to for credible advice, choosing between Jon Johnson or Keyna Cory would be torture for most voters. But choosing between the two is just what their peers will have to do in the 1st Round of TallyMadness – the online voting competition to determine Florida’s “best” lobbyist.
No. 1 seed Johnson and No. 16 seed Cory are crème of the lobbying crop, each known as much as the other – and known, too, for their kindness.
Johnson represents clients such as the Florida Retail Federation, Florida Crystals, Florida Society of Anesthesiologists, and the Florida Council of Yacht Clubs (for this latter, I hope he gets some perks!). Cory represents Outward Bound, the Florida and the National Greyhound Association, the City of Jacksonville Beach, DuPont de Nemours, and the Florida Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs. Doesn’t seem to be a lot of overlap in Johnson and Cory’s agendas.
The two will intersect, though, as politicos cast votes. And only the winner will move on to the 2nd Round to face either No. 8 seed Jeff Hartley or No. 9 seed Frank Mayernick.
#4 Travis Blanton vs. #13 Lori Killinger
Lobbyists Travis Blanton and Lori Killinger both know a thing or two about running into family in the halls of 400 S. Monroe Street. Blanton’s brother and Killinger’s husband are both in the same business. But what No. 4 seed Blanton and No. 13 seed Killinger have not done yet is run into each other in TallyMadness.
This match-up is a firecracker for the 1st Round. Both Blanton and Killinger are nearly ubiquitously known in Florida’s political circles. Both are members of small three- or four-person firms. And both have a strong issue-area practice – Blanton in healthcare and Killinger in municipal issues – while still being seen working on behalf of clients in committees right down the list.
This 1st Round winner will face either No. 5 seed Claudia Devant or No. 12 seed Mike Hightower in the 2nd Round.
First-round voting closes on Monday, April 7th.