Champ and Chump of the Week – 3/7/20: Bill Montford and House Democrats

by | Mar 7, 2020

At the end of every week, we praise a political playmaker, “swipe left” on the week’s biggest political loser, and explain what it all means for Florida’s political arena. 

👍🏆 CHAMP: State Senator Bill Montford

Champ of the Week

The Democratic Senator gave his farewell address on the chamber floor Thursday, essentially closing the curtains on a successful tenure that spanned ten years.

Instead of playing politics or propping up his accomplishments, Montford took the time to address his colleagues, passing along words of wisdom from his time working in the educational system.

“My advice was you make hundreds of decisions a day if you just keep in mind what’s best for the children, you’ll be okay. And I say the same thing to us. Just keep in mind, if you do what’s best for the people of Florida. You’ll make some mistakes now and then, bad votes, but in the long run the people of Florida will be well served. The people of Florida are well served today because of you,” Montford said in his farewell address.

First elected in 2010, Montford represented Senate District 3 (previously 6) with dignity and class. The former teacher and high school principal devoted his time to the legislature to championing education issues and legislation geared toward rural communities.

The former Superintendent of Leon County Schools was respected by both sides of the political aisle, being an anomaly in a time where partisan politics and infighting reign supreme.

Putting aside party affiliation, Montford was a “gentleman” in a time where the political arena is often filled with barbarians. A friend to many, Montford was a friend to everyone who knew him, and he touched on that bond in his closing statement.

“I’m a blessed man. I am blessed to been able to spend ten years in this body and make good friends,” Montford concluded to a standing ovation.

👎❌ CHUMPS: State Representatives Susan Valdes and Matt Willhite

It’s a double-whammy this week, with two Democrats who voted against a bill protecting the life of newborns taking home the dishonorable mention.

A bill (HB 1217) that would protect newborns and provide a safe haven for them was unanimously approved by the House of Wednesday. The measure, introduced by Representative Mike Beltran, would authorize hospitals, emergency medical services stations, and fire stations to install newborn safety devices to accept surrendered newborn infants. The boxes, which will be privately funded, are similar to after-hours deposits at banks and are temperature controlled.

The proposal passed with a 117-2 vote, with only two Democrats (see above) voting against it. While the two votes did not play a significant role in the final tally, the bill was a no-brainer, receiving unanimous support from both sides of the political aisle.

While conservatives continue to fight to protect newborns, it’s sad to see some liberals who continue to neglect them.


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