Political Commentary on the "Golden Age" of the Florida Legislature

More Valuable Gone

With the Florida legislative reappointment maps on their way to the courts for review, I am reminded of the process 30 years ago.  Although I had announced that I was not going to run for re-election to my Senate seat (District 38, representing South Miami and all the Florida Keys), I was heavily lobbied by my colleagues for my endorsement of what they did with my seat.  We had committed to single member districts, so it was just a question of the boundaries for my seat.  Retired and greatly respected Senator Phil Lewis (D., West Palm Beach) had represented the Palm Beaches all the way to Fort Myers, and he was lobbying hard to get my seat moved to Southwest Florida, which was ultimately successful.  I remember so well  the conversation I had the Dean of the Senate, Dempsey Barron (D., Panama City), who had joined Senator Lewis’ effort,  when I said to Barron, “Senator, I may be more valuable gone, then here.” 

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Robert McKnight

Former Florida State Senator and Representative; MBA, Florida State University; BS, Florida Southern College; Retired Business Executive with IBM, Planned Development Corporation, FBMC and McKnight Financial Corporation. Currently political commentator of ABC TV/WTXL 27 HD; FLA Politics; several national media blogs and consultant/Chairman of the Board of the Plastics Environmental Council, Atlanta.

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