Rep. Brad Drake gets a lesson in Florida geography
Legislative meetings are rarely dull when Rep. Brad Drake is in charge. The second-term Republican from Walton County in the Panhandle cracks up his colleagues with one-liners and prefers to call on lawmakers not by name, but by the county or city they represent.
Drake could have used a clerk's manual during Wednesday's meeting of the Transportation and Highway Safety Subcommittee that he chairs. Calling on Rep. Bill Hager of Boca Raton, Drake said, "Brevard? Is that right?"
"Palm Beach," Hager answered.
Drake recognized Rep. Larry Ahern of St. Petersburg, who was waiting to present a bill dealing with lengthening the time stop lights are in yellow mode. "Tampa?" Drake asked Ahern. "St. Pete," Ahern replied.
Drake got it right when he saw the raised hand of Rep. Irv Slosberg. "Boca Raton," Drake said.
"Yes," Slosberg said. "Want to know how to spell it? B-O-C-A R-A-T-O-N."
"Mouth of the rat," Drake replied with translation. "And I was a spelling bee champion in 1987."
Drake definitely knows his Panhandle geography, as he hails from one of the most obscure places in the state: the community of Eucheeanna in Walton County.