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State Senate president leads other life – as "prof"

Senate President Mike Haridopolos is last to appear for the 7:15 a.m. meeting, the only one who brought coffee, his blond hair still wet from a rinse in his office shower.

He claims a black leather chair at the head of a glass-topped table and moves right into the hour’s focus.

Who’s ready to talk about Lyndon Johnson’s turbulent years in the U.S. Senate?

The most powerful member in the Florida Senate, Haridopolos, 40, isn’t meeting with lobbyists, advisers, colleagues or reporters.

Twice a week, just after security officers unlock the Capitol’s doors, he lectures University of Florida students from a conference room typically used for senators’ group policy meetings.

The students are spending their spring semester in Tallahassee, interning across town and attending his class. The self-proclaimed academic oversees a one-hour undergraduate seminar, IDS 4930: Florida Politics.

That’s more face time than a lot of Capitol insiders can boast. The students know they’re lucky and value Professor Haridopolos’ candid perspective and laid-back approach.

Keep reading this Herald/Times story here.

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