TallyMadness second-round action heating up; voting ends Monday night

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

The second round of the 2015 TallyMadness tournament — the online voting competition to determine Tallahassee’s “best” lobbyist — is shaping up to be every bit as exciting and tumultuous as Round 1.

The early returns from the ongoing Round of 32 are in and they foretell another wild ride of upsets and nail-biters — plus a huge overall surge in the volume of votes cast.

Brian Ballard and Allison Carvajal — just a couple of days removed from harrowing first-round victories in which both stared down underdogs playing to win — are locked in a pitched battle for the right to advance to the Sweet 16. Ballard is currently in the lead with 51.2 percent of the vote to Carvajal’s 48.8 percent, but with more than 6,000 votes cast and the weekend not even officially begun, this will be a dogfight until late Monday night.

#1 seed Nick Iarossi and #8 seed Brecht Heuchan both ran up the score against Round 1 opponents, but their meeting this week is already a much more competitive affair as the two are neck-and-neck with Heuchan so far garnering a slight 51-49 lead. A mere hundred-vote lead will certainly not last in a matchup like this one, so look for a steady barrage of voting to come from both corners all the way until the bell.

And a pair of giant-killers meet up for a heat check as Sean Pittman and Monica Rodriguez square off in the Round of 32. Rodriguez bounced #1 seed Bill Rubin in a 55-45 duel, while Pittman emerged victorious over #8 seed Rhett O’Doski. So far Rodriguez has built a significant edge with 53.7 percent of the vote to Pittman’s 46.3, but the many Tallahassee staffers and allies in the former FSU student body president’s corner will almost certainly come to his aid in a big way. A matchup with late-round implications for certain.

Voting will continue on TallyMadness.com until 11:59 on Monday, April 6. Vote early and vote often to have your say as to who deserves bragging rights in Tallahassee’s premier intra-lobbying corps showdown.

Ryan Ray writes about campaigns and public policy in Tampa Bay and across the state. A contributor to FloridaPolitics.com and before that, The Florida Squeeze, he covers the Legislature as a member of the Florida Capitol Press Corps and has worked as a staffer on several campaigns. He can be reached at [email protected]