Winner and loser of the week
Winner of the week: Larry Cretul. The newly annointed Republican state House Speaker Pro Tem from Ocala not only was hoisted to power by the vacuum created by scandal-plagued Ray Sansom, but he fared well in his initial public appearances, made staff changeups suggesting a hands-on leader, and so far enjoys big time good will in Tallahassee.
Loser(s) of the week: Republican U.S. Reps. Vern Buchanan of Sarasota and Connie Mack IV of Fort Myers, and former state House Speakers Allan Bense of Panama City and Marco Rubio of Miami. As long as Charlie Crist dangles his name for U.S. Senate these would-be candidates will struggle to put together serious campaigns.