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Brian Hughes

Emails & Opinions

Dear Lenny Curry: Please don’t fire Brian Hughes

Please, Mr. Mayor, have some consideration for those beyond your city’s borders.

Dear Mayor Curry:

Long time no talk.

Looks like it could be a decent season for your Jags. Of course, betting on Nick Foles might be the riskiest proposition in the NFL. And the AFC South is a very competitive division.

The Jaguars kinda sorta remind me of you and your time in City Hall. Only two years ago, the Jags, like you, were on top of the world and with a bright future ahead. But that was then and this is now and both the Jags and you face an uncertain future this fall.

I won’t pretend to know what’s gonna happen to an NFL football team, just as I don’t know what’s gonna happen in your city. Despite all of the issues currently facing you, you still have the second most powerful political job in Florida. And, unlike the Jags, who have to worry about the Colts, Texans, and Titans, there’s no one on the other side of the ball who can stop you.

Still, with so many controversies raging in the Bold City (and I have the distinct feeling what’s happening now is only the start of a torrent of issues you will face), it may occur to you to switch quarterbacks, just like the Jags did when they signed Foles.

After all, consider where your city … your administration … your poll numbers … your political future were BEFORE Brian Hughes decamped to Jacksonville to become your chief of staff.

Admittedly, you parting ways with Hughes is about as likely as me playing cornerback for my Dallas Cowboys, but who knows what you will be forced to do to stop the damage being done to your administration — and your ambition to one day run for statewide office. Even if you have to bench Brian, you’d still have Tim Baker and who’s better under pressure than Baker?

However, before it gets to that point, I am writing this, not just on my behalf, but on behalf of dozens of people involved in The Process.

And they are terrified of Hughes exiting your administration.

Mind you, they’re not terrified out of any concern for you or your administration or the City of Jacksonville. No, they are petrified because if Hughes leaves Jacksonville City Hall, he might return to Tallahassee and political consulting.

I know you love Brian. And for a long time, I really enjoyed his, um, frenemyship and his generosity with his clients’ budgets. But the rest of Tallahassee (and beyond) is terrified by the prospect of his returning to town.

They remember – quite vividly – all of his screaming and yelling and belittling.

They remember his willingness to prop up candidates like Baxter Troutman and Todd Wilcox simply because they were willing to spend their own money on their long-shot candidacies.

They remember Brian’s unending machinations, like the time he thought it was a good idea if Mike Hill were House Speaker.

Tallahassee remembers all of this and so much more. There are people who work in the Capitol and along Adams Street who still suffer from post traumatic stress from the time Hughes was around.

So, please, have some consideration for those beyond your city’s borders. Suggest that Brian take a couple of weeks of vacation so he can get out of town until the heat dies down.

Do whatever you have to do so that Brian puts that chip on his shoulder on a shelf long enough that his place in City Hall is no longer in jeopardy.

As for what to do about the Jags, maybe Andrew Luck will forget where he put his helmet.

Written By

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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Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch

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