TallyMadness entered the third round this morning.
The March Madness-style competition to decide who is the “best” lobbyist in Florida tipped off a week ago with 64 in-house lobbyists. After two rounds, just 16 remain.
Just like it’s NCAA cousin, the TallyMadness wouldn’t be TallyMadness without some major upsets.
Round 2 delivered one of those in the matchup between Stephanie Kopelousos of the Governor’s office and Stephanie Smith, who represents Anthem. It’s no secret we’re Smith fans, but if she had to go out, at least she took the L against Stephanie K — it’s what the SEC football crowd might call a “quality loss.”
Less shocking: Justin Thames victory over Disney lobbyist Leticia Adams. Thames, who represents the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants, made it all the way to the title game last year, and TallyMadness fans appear determined to make the 2020 runner-up the 2021 champ. Adams was a tough competitor — her employer hosted the NBA bubble, afterall — but the sometimes the iron is unkind.
Florida School Boards Association lobbyist BillieAnne Gay also has unfinished business. She was a Final Four contender last year, but a second-round match against AIF’s Brewster Bevis, the in-house lobbyist equivalent of a blueblood, had all the trappings of an upset. However, Bevis couldn’t break her stride and she’s now one step closer to the title.
Danielle Scoggins of the Florida Association of Realtors is quickly becoming a fan favorite. After knocking out AFP-FL state director Skylar Zander in Round 1, she bounced Florida Hospital Association lobbyist David Mica Jr. out of contention in Round 2 to punch her ticket to the Sweet 16.
Round 3 voting is underway. Fill out your brackets before the clock hits triple zeros Sunday night at midnight. The Elite Eight set will be announced in Monday’s Sunburn.