Honoring Ray Sansom, 'Florida's fullback'
Republicans have just nominated Ray Sansom as Speaker of the Florida House, handing power to a low-key but loyal GOP soldier from the Panhandle who will rule amid one of the worst budget outlooks in state history. (Sansom's speech is here. Later, Sansom took questions from reporters.)
Rep. Marcelo Llorente, likely to inherit the role of budget chief from Sansom, called him "a leader among leaders" and said he will bring to the office the same steady hand and "tenacity" he showed in guiding House races over the past few cycles.
Llorente said Sansom, a high school football player who lives in Destin, will be Florida's "fullback ... tackling the tough issues."
Rep. Kevin Ambler picked up the football thread. "He may admit to be a little slower now, but I can assure you he is faster and smarter than ever on the political game field."
The caucus meeting began on a high note from Rep. Kurt Kelly of Ocala, who played guitar and sang God Bless America. Buzz audio here. (House photo by Mark Foley. Click to enlarge.)