Political Commentator Bill Rufty Gets a New Platform

Ledger emolyee - Bill Rufty in Lakeland, Fl., Wednesday February 1, 2006. Ernst Peters/The Ledger.Political junkies will soon be able to read reporting from retired Ledger political editor Bill Rufty again. He has agreed to write occasionally for Florida Politics and SaintPetersBlog.

Rufty, 68, will focus on Central Florida politics. He said he was recruited to the online publications by occasionally controversial commentator and political consultant Peter Schorsch.

Rufty had covered government and politics at newspapers in Bradenton and Sarasota before I hired him 30 years ago to cover city government, the Legislature and politics for The Ledger.

By the time he retired in April, he had developed an envied contact list of Florida politicos and was well-known enough in Lakeland that the City Commission declared May 4 Bill Rufty Day.

Since retiring, Bill has written occasional political commentaries on his Facebook page and is talking with Florida Southern College history professor Mike Denham about a possible biography of former Florida Gov. and U.S. Sen. Lawton Chiles of Lakeland.