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January 22, 2018
Heavy Hitter: Florida Speaker Richard Corcoran wields power

Photo: Jon M. Fletcher

Richard Corcoran's record doesn't always align with his unflinching and ideologically rigorous rhetoric.

Legislature 2017

Heavy Hitter: Florida Speaker Richard Corcoran wields power

Jason Garcia | 2/27/2017

Richard Corcoran, Speaker of the Florida House, is vowing to upend the political system he has spent a lifetime mastering. He has condemned the influence of special interests — and the weakness of individual legislators — and promised stronger ethical firewalls and a state budget with more transparency and less pork.

A free-market evangelist who describes nearly all forms of regulation as lobbyist-led schemes to stifle competition, Corcoran wants to deregulate across state government — especially in K-12 education and health care. He has denounced the Florida Supreme Court and called for term limits for all appellate judges. And he has challenged Gov. Rick Scott by threatening to eliminate spending on economic incentives and tourism advertising.

More than any presiding officer since Republicans won control in the mid-1990s, Corcoran appears to be in a position to deliver on his vision. Due to a combination of his own planning, circumstance and luck, Corcoran has amassed more power and influence over the process than anyone since the man on the horse. One friend predicts, “He’s going to be the Dempsey Barron of the House.”

ALSO IN THIS ARTICLE: John Renke II; Daniel Webster; Paul Hawkes; Tom Feeney; Marco Rubio; Ken Pruitt; Ray Pilon

 

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Tags: Politics & Law, Government/Politics & Law

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