Randy Fine, we hardly knew thee

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Live by POLITICO, die by POLITICO.

That’s one of the lessons to be learned by the rise and fall of Brevard businessman Randy Fine’s brief campaign for federal office. Last week, Matt Dixon reported that Fine “has taken himself out of the running for U.S. Senate, amid a quarrel with a prominent Republican consultant.” Instead, Fine says he will follow through on his original plan to run for the Florida House, where he would like to eventually serve as speaker.

The ambition on this guy!

Let’s be honest here: Randy Fine’s 15 minutes of political fame began when Marc Caputo did his (our) friend, Brian Hughes, a Republican political consultant, a favor and name-dropped him in his Florida Playbook. Without that, Fine is just another ladder-climber with an oversized sense of self.

That’s why it’s so delicious to see Fine kneecapped by Caputo’s new colleague, Dixon.

But now Fine thinks he is on track to not only win his House race, but become speaker.

According to Dixon, Fine said he has not formally asked for pledge cards for the 2022-24 speaker’s term, but says he will be traveling the state to talk with candidates, the first step to laying the groundwork for a leadership bid.

“Since I’m in a good position, I will probably spend some time traveling across the state to ask other candidates how I can help,” he said.

Except one of the most prominent Republican political consultants in the state is saying that after doing due diligence on Fine’s background, there are clear “vulnerabilities and weaknesses.”

Hughes told Dixon “it’s a big mistake for (Fine) to be contemplating a speaker’s race at this point.”

Remember, Hughes is a consultant to current House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, up-and-coming House Republican Mike Hill, and is fresh off a major victory in Jacksonville, where he guided Lenny Curry to the Mayor’s Office. Hughes might just know a thing or two about how to become speaker.

Never mind the fact that incoming class Fine hopes to lead likely will include state Reps. Jamie Grant and Paul Renner, as well as Joe Gruters — three men much more likely to be speaker than Fine.

At this point, Randy Fine needs a course correction.

Focus on your campaign for the Florida House, Randy. And put your ego on the shelf for a little while.

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.