Byron Donalds

Corcoran still trailing in House popularity contest

As if legislators don’t have enough to fight about already, House Speaker Richard Corcoran last month injected a new battleground into the age-old political arena of one-upsmanship.

Corcoran, a Land O’ Lakes Republican and avid Twitter-er, rolled out a pair of lists last month — the “Facebook 50” and “Twitter 50” — to highlight the support representatives get on the social media sites.

The more “likes” members receive, the higher their rankings on Corcoran’s lists, blasted out via Twitter.

The competition was designed to push House members to increase their use of social media and “partly just a fun exercise” to see who’s already a Twitter or FB rock star, the speaker’s spokesman Fred Piccolo told The News Service of Florida last month.

But this month’s results leave us questioning how effective the popularity contest is, at least in its early stages.

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Corcoran — who remains in second place — noted on Twitter yesterday there have been “some movements on the board.”

But the top five social media mavens have held their positions, according to the House calculations.

The top tweeter remains Rep. Byron Donalds, a Naples Republican who recently lost a bid to take over as speaker in 2022.

Donalds leads Corcoran, who is followed by Kionne McGhee, D-Miami; Jacksonville Democrat Tracie Davis and Tampa Republican James Grant.

The top five on Facebook remain Daniels; McGhee; Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton; Clay Ingram, R-Pensacola; and Brad Drake, R-Eucheeanna.

Boyd, 60, who landed 10th on the Twitter list, bragged Thursday on Twitter that “Old man Boyd still ‘schooling’ the younger folk.”

Coral Springs Democratic Rep. Jared Moskowitz — a 36-year-old late adopter who joined Twitter just a year ago — is noticeable absent from both lists, but that didn’t stop him from delivering this snarky response to Boyd: “On your flip phone.”

Buckle up: ‘Historic’ holiday ahead

imagesWe’ll probably stay home to avoid the crush, but that’s not what more than 2 million other Floridians will likely do.

That’s how many Sunshine Staters are expected to hit the road for the looooong 4th of July weekend — which apparently kicks off today and runs through Tuesday — according to AAA.

The auto club is predicting that more than 2.3 million Floridians will travel this weekend, and nearly all of them will be getting behind the wheel before (we hope) getting their party on.

Vicky Evans, Assistant Vice President, Travel Sales Development, AAA – The Auto Club Group, predicted “historic” travel numbers throughout the country, and in Florida, over the next few days:

“Travel bookings at The Auto Club Group are up more than 15 percent in Florida, compared to this time last year. The biggest factors driving growth are low gas prices, strong employment, rising incomes, and higher consumer confidence; but overall Americans just love to travel, and want to do something fun for this mid-summer tradition.”

According to AAA, Orlando is the top destination for travelers this summer.

GOP Florida House members are giving the Orlando numbers a boost: Freshmen Republicans will huddle there today to decide who will take over as speaker in 2022. State Reps. Paul Renner of Jacksonville and Jamie Grant of Tampa are purportedly in the lead in the four-person race. Erin Grall of Naples and Vero Beach’s Byron Donalds are also duking it out for the chamber’s top spot.

Maybe they’ll want to get a lift from Uber, which finally sealed a deal with the ORL airport regarding rates.

A new law establishing statewide regulations for app-based rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft goes into effect tomorrow, prompting a blast email from Uber’s Florida General Manager Kasra Moshkani who had this to say:

“Whether you’re headed to Key West for the weekend or you need to get from Tampa to Palm Beach, we’ve got you covered. Now you can count on us for a safe, reliable ride anywhere in the state, at any time. Drivers, will also be able to accept trips and earn anywhere in the state, thanks to your support.

This is just the beginning. We’re committed to the state of Florida and its riders and driver-partners, and want to prove it in a real way. Stay tuned for exciting announcements!”