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Weatherford named one of 12 state legislators to watch

Rep. Will Weatherford, set to lead the Florida House from 2012 through 2014, was recently named one of 12 state legislators to watch by Governing magazine.

The Pasco County Republican was included on the magazine's bipartisan list of lawmakers "who are deemed players to watch based on interviews with political experts in state capitals across the country." He is the only Floridian to make the cut.

Here is Governing's blurb on Weatherford:

Rep. Will Weatherford is the official speaker-in-waiting in the GOP-dominated Florida House, with a term that would start after the 2012 elections.

Weatherford is one of nine siblings. His brother Drew was a star quarterback at Florida State, and his father-in-law, Allan Bense, served as House Speaker in Tallahassee.

Elected to the House in 2006, Weatherford chairs the Redistricting Committee and serves on the influential Rules and Calendar Council. “He is young, full of energy and unafraid to tackle the tough issues,” says University of South Florida political scientist Susan MacManus. “Obviously, he is well served by his father-in-law’s advice on what it takes to get and maintain respect from fellow legislators and the public at large, but his gut instincts on what matters to the people in his district appear to be well above average.”

GOP state Rep. Gary Aubuchon told the St. Petersburg Times, “If there is such a thing as a natural-born leader, Will Weatherford is it.”

Click here to read the entire list of 12 State Legislators to Watch in 2012.