Halloween is brought you by these Florida lobbyists and political associations


The witching hour is upon us.

Ghosts and ghouls fill the streets. Zombies walk side-by-side with princesses and superheroes. Their mission the same: Spook and scare their neighbors in hopes of scoring enough candy to sustain them for the next year.

Total spending for Halloween is expected to reach $9.1 billion in 2017, according to the National Retail Federation. Consumers are expected to spend $3.4 billion on costumes this year. More than 3.7 million kiddos are expected to dress up as their favorite superhero. Batman will make up plenty of those, as he and his rogues’ gallery will account for 2.9 million costumes, tied with princesses.

Still need a costume? Retail giants Target, represented by the team at GrayRobinson, and Wal-Mart — represented by Corcoran & JohnstonThe Mayernick GroupPittman Law Group, and The Rubin Group — have you covered.

Costumes are just one part of the spooky, scary evening. What would Halloween be without bags and bags of candy?

The Florida Sugar Cane League — represented in the Legislature by Ernie Barnett at Water and Land Advisors — is the non-profit trade association for Florida sugarcane growers and processors. U.S. Sugar Corp. and Florida Crystals Corp. are among the association’s members.

U.S. Sugar boasts dozens of governmental affairs experts, including the team at Ballard PartnersBuchanan Ingersoll & Rooney and Floridian Partners, working in the Legislature to keep the Sunshine State in sweets.

Florida Crystals Corp. also enlists the help of dozens of professional influencers to work on behalf of its interests, including Johnson & Blanton and The Fiorentino Group.

If the kids get too much candy (is there really such a thing?), then maybe it’s time to head to the dentist. Dentists across the state participate in Halloween candy buyback programs, which allow children to exchange their candy for cash, coupons, toothbrushes, or other gifts.

When the Florida Dental Association needs a hand, it turns to the team at Johnson & Blanton, including Travis BlantonJon Johnson, Darrick McGhee and Melanie Brown. With a client like that, we can’t imagine anyone has a cavity.

If waiting for trick or treaters isn’t your thing, put a bowl of candy on your stoop, hang up the “Out zombie hunting” sign and head to Universal Orlando for Halloween Horror Nights. The event runs through Nov. 4, and this year features a haunted house based on Stanley Kubrick’s iconic film, “The Shining” – if you snag a hotel for the night, avoid room 237.

When Universal Orlando needs to give the Legislature a scare, it turns to Missy Timmins at Timmins Consulting and Keith ArnoldBrett BacotJim MagillKimberly McGlynn, and Mac Stipanovich at Buchanan Ingersol & Rooney. The Orlando resort has also had the team at PooleMcKinley Will McKinley, Van Poole, Angela DempseyFred DickinsonErik Kirk and Sophie Smith – on call for more than a decade.

The horrific fun at Universal Orlando isn’t “recommended for children under 13” — or probably anyone afraid of what goes bump in the night. But if you’re in Central Florida, the Mouse offers a slightly less spooky Halloween event.

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney Resort runs through Nov. 1. The event gives visitors a chance to collect sweets and enjoy a bit of eerie, all-age entertainment.

Walt Disney Resort has oodles of influencers working on its behalf in the Legislature, including Steve Schale. Mickey also has the teams at Southern Strategy GroupColodny FassMetz Husband & Daughton, and Hopping Green & Sams watching his back.

If theme parks aren’t your idea of a good time, try catching a show at the Tampa Theatre. With Halloween right around the corner, the theater has a few hair-raising tricks up its sleeve. The theater is hosting its “A Nightmare on Franklin Street” film festival through Oct. 31. Built in 1926, the Tampa Theatre is one of the country’s most elaborate movie theaters. It has the team of Ron Pierce, Natalie King, and Ed Briggs at RSA Consulting Group pushing for its interests and making sure it’s around for another 90 years.

The theatre also will host “Cat People” and “From Dusk Till Dawn.”

Once the raucous of Halloween is over, take a minute to reflect and remember those who have died over the years. All Soul’s Day, a holiday established by the Catholic Church, is Nov. 2

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also the publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.


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