Here, folks, are your Sweet 16’s in TallyMadness –the online voting competition to determine Florida’s “best” lobbyist.
We have already established that these matchups of peers are not based on popularity, cunning, compensation, or client lists alone — but by a delicate balance of each of these factors and more.
Emerging into the Sweet 16 round are plenty of strong personalities, and some multidimensional rivalries. Let’s begin with the two remaining No. 1 seeds: Nick Iarossi and Jon Johnson.
Iarossi defeated No. 16 seed Bill Peebles and then No. 8 seed Jennifer Green. He now faces No. 4 seed Travis Blanton, who first faced No. 13 seed Lori Killinger and then No. 5 seed Claudi Davant. The Iarossi-Blanton matchup pits two equals, both in lobbying acumen and discerning fashion sense.
Then there’s Johnson, who faced No. 16 seed Keyna Cory and then No. 8 seed Jeff Hartley before landing in the Sweet 16 spot facing No. 4 seed Katie Webb. While Johnson and Blanton are lobbying partners, they may become rivals in this competition if their next few matchups go favorably.
Next we have matchups brewing between No. 6 seed Sean Pittman and No. 10 seed Scott Ross. These guys each took out some big, formidable peers in the 1st and 2nd Rounds — among them, Robert Coker, Teye Reeves, Missy Timmins, and Michael Corcoran.
No. 16 seed Alan Suskey has done the same, beginning with his 1st Round defeat of Brian Ballard followed by Slater Bayliss. Suskey may indeed meet his match, though, in No. 5 seed Gus Corbella who has ascended to the Sweet 16 after facing Gerald Wester and Paul Bradshaw.
In a parallel bracket, we have No. 14 seed Monica Rodriguez looking across at No. 2 seed Mark Delegal in this Sweet 16 round. Rodriguez took out Gary Guzzo and Marion Hammer while Delegal emerged following contests with Marc Reichelderfer and Clark Smith.
Ever positive, Jim Magill is looking as confident in TallyMadness as in real life. Magill, a No. 8 seed, took out No. 1 seed Ron Book in the 2nd Round and now faces No. 12 seed Mercer Fearington.
Lobbyist turned House Speaker turned lobbyist Dean Cannon, a No. 6 seed in this competition, takes on lobbying extraordinaire and No. 15 seed Richard Reeves; and finally, No. 14 seed Ron Pierce will face No. 2 seed Chris Dudley.
The victors of the Sweet 16 move onto the Elite Eight, when all bets are off, and where a lobby core of hundreds hones closer in on who among them will be crowed the 2014 TallyMadness winner.
Voting ends at midnight on Tuesday.