Rumor du jour: Sen. John Thrasher for FSU prez?

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The rumor du jour in Tallahassee is that state Senator John Thrasher realllyyy wants to be the next president of Florida State University. And why not? The FSU presidency is one of the best gigs in the state.

FSU’s Board of Trustees must decide if it wants an academician or a politician in the top spot. If it goes in the direction of a politician, Thrasher makes sense. He’s a former Speaker of the House and a former chairman of FSU’s Board of Trustees. He’s one of, if not the, most prominent FSU boosters in the Legislature. In fact, he practically built FSU’s medical school while serving in the House.

No, Thrasher’s not a statewide figure, but he’s as close as you can get without ever having run for statewide office. And in his past work as a lobbyist is a plus in the situation, as opposed to when it was perceived to be a negative when Thrasher was under consideration to be Rick Scott’s lieutenant governor.

However, as Jeff Atwater’s escapade with Florida Atlantic University proved, the trend may be moving away from making politicians into university presidents. If Thrasher does indeed want to be president of FSU, he should not burn his ships at the shore, as Atwater was prepared to do. Dare I say, Thrasher needs to be more like the maneuvering George LeMieux than the ambitious Atwater.


Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, 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.