2020 is nearly a wrap.
In a year with many forced changes to how we lived, the people who made news in Northeast Florida politics also changed.
Here are 10 names to know who have indelibly shaped 2020, positioned in 2020 to make a bigger mark in 2021, or some combination thereof:
The state Senator from Fernandina Beach goes into 2021 as the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, the Appropriations Committee Vice-Chair, and the Health and Human Services subcommittee’s chair, which are pretty good assignments. Bean is there because he’s the ultimate team player: a facilitator keenly aware that the Legislature and Gov. Ron DeSantis will have to make tough decisions this Spring. Can Bean bring home the bacon to Northeast Florida? That’s a question we will monitor in May, when budgets get closer to firming up, and in the Governor’s eventual veto list. As 2020 showed, DeSantis isn’t scared to kill projects.
His wife, Jennifer Bradley, replaced Bradley in the Senate and will likely have eight years to match her husband’s. Still, a few words here to note the importance of his tenure, especially after replacing former Sen. Jack Latvala on Appropriations.