Winner of the week
Vocational education. Sorry, four-year universities, but the candidates for governor sound far more fired up about promoting community college, trade schools and apprenticeships in Florida than traditional brick and ivy institutions. Republican Adam Putnam and Democrat Chris King see increased vocational education as central parts of their economic agenda, with King advocating free tuition for trade schools and community colleges. In the U.S. House, Republican Ron DeSantis has introduced the Higher Education Reform and Opportunity (HERO) Act, which would allow states to create accreditation systems and make trade programs eligible for federal student aid.
Loser of the week
Publix. You know we're a bitterly divided state politically when even good ole Publix winds up in the cross hairs of a hot political debate. The Tampa Bay Times reported how much money the Polk County-based chain is steering to the campaign of Polk County Republican and self-described "proud NRA sellout" Adam Putnam. Publix promptly faced a #BoycottPublix backlash and then issued a clarification saying that it supported Putnam, but not necessarily that cornerstone of Putnam's campaign message. Confession: We remain a proud sellout for free deli slices.