Winner and loser of the week in Florida politics
Winners of the week: Mike Haridopolos -- The Republican Senate president from Melbourne already is launching his U.S. Senate campaign for 2012 and, as Senate president, getting a head start on other contenders and looking like the early front-runner. That old curse that legislative leaders never win statewide elections? It died with Marco Rubio's win. Dave Bitner -- The new GOP chairman won with a grass roots campaign and a personal appeal that convinced folks he was the strongest statesman.
Loser of the week: Tony DiMatteo -- Bad enough the Pinellas Republican state committeeman was crushed in the race for Florida GOP chairman, suspected of dirty campaigning. After losing, he was the only candidate who didn't join the winner in a show of unity. Stay classy, Tony.