Joe Henderson: Mike Hill wants back in Tallahassee, so the GOP should be on guard
Mike hill was lackluster until the end, and now his is going on the attack.

Mike Hill, who embarrassed Republicans as a state Representative, wants back in the game.

You couldn’t blame Republican leadership in Tallahassee for confusing former state Rep. Mike Hill with the creepy Michael Myers character in the Halloween movie series.

Hill used to represent his Pensacola district in the state House.

We could understand if that memory would cause GOP leadership in Tallahassee to awaken in the middle of the night, sweating profusely. They’ve done everything they can to erase the memory of Hill’s homophobic and nonsensical ravings.

They rebuked him, disavowed him and banished him into irrelevance back then. When he ran for re-election as an incumbent in 2020 with enough baggage to fill a cruise ship, they were relieved when he lost.

I mean, his political career should have been DOA the moment he laughed at a joke about stoning gays, but he just keeps coming back.

Hill filed to regain a seat in the House, challenging incumbent Rep. Michelle Salzman in the Republican Primary. She beat him two years ago, and it was easy to see why.

During the early days of the pandemic, Hill turned his back on a constituent who asked him for help to navigate Florida’s broken unemployment system.

He mocked efforts to protect the public from COVID-19.

He filed a bill to overturn Florida’s widely praised “red flag law” that allows law enforcement to temporarily seize the weapons of someone deemed a danger to the public or themselves.

Hill was unsuccessful.

The red flag law, however, is a success. The state reported it had been used nearly 6,000 times, possibly saving us from the horror of another Parkland or Pulse.

These and other examples show Hill is not a serious lawmaker. But if the good people of House District 1 choose him, here’s what they will get:


Republican leadership exiled Hill from any impactful role after his widely condemned laugh at the “joke” about gays. Even Gov. Ron DeSantis joined in the chorus. If Hill somehow upsets Salzman, voters will have sent a guy to Tallahassee who brings them bupkus.

He won’t get anything close to an important committee assignment. Any bill he offers will land in the circular file.

Of course, current GOP leadership will try to ensure Hill doesn’t darken their door.

Upon the news that Hill was in the race, Speaker-designate Paul Renner had a rapid response: He forcefully endorsed Salzman.

“Michelle Salzman is a strong conservative and the fresh voice we need in Tallahassee,” Renner said in a statement. “I look forward to working with Rep. Salzman to continue delivering for her community in Northwest Florida.”

Renner didn’t mention Hill, but perhaps he heard the Halloween music. Maybe sometime Hill will go away for good, but it looks like this is not that time.

Joe Henderson

I have a 45-year career in newspapers, including nearly 42 years at The Tampa Tribune. Florida is wacky, wonderful, unpredictable and a national force. It's a treat to have a front-row seat for it all.


  • I support Mike Hill

    June 15, 2022 at 9:59 pm

    Sounds like you have a personal beef with Mr. Hill? I know Mike and he is a strong christian conservative, something that you are not.

    • TJC

      June 16, 2022 at 11:40 am

      Personal beef? No, it sounds like Mr Henderson reported that Republican leadership in Tallahassee and Governor DeSantis all wanted Hill to go away and stay away. Nothing personal about that, and everything political about it. If you don’t believe what’s being reported here about Hill’s standing with fellow Republicans in power, then refute that reporting with facts.

  • Marshall

    June 16, 2022 at 11:08 am

    If Mike is running, we will get our checkbook out! Glad to hear.

    • Professor Madoff, Suckers R Us University

      June 16, 2022 at 11:56 am

      What? You’re going to get your checkbook out? That hasn’t been necessary for years, not since politicians of all stripes learned long ago that supporters can give away their money much more quickly and easily by donating online — directly from your bank account into their pockets. But if this Mike Hill is every bit as kind and thoughtful as he sounds, I’m sure he’ll take your check. Make it a big one. You may just get what you wish for, so go for it! Trust me.

Comments are closed.


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