"He wants to do things the right way," said Thurston. "He recognizes that he's in the majority, but I don't think he's using that in any type of oppressive way."
Thurston believes Weatherford, unusually unpretentious is a town loaded with the self-important, is more open-minded and believes in fair play more than some of his recent predecessors.
Thurston pointed to Weatherford rejecting attempts by Republicans in some states to rig their Electoral College votes to benefit future GOP candidates. President Barack Obama has carried Florida in the last two elections.
"I don't think we need to change the rules of the game," Weatherford said. "I think we need to get better."
Weatherford has also courted the experience offered by new Senate President Don Gaetz, a Republican and North Dakota native twice his age.
"We come from different parts of the country, different generations," Weatherford said. "Our values are very similar. We both feel like there's not a lot of time to waste."
Bense said he seldom offers advice to his son-in-law on legislatives issues.
"It's his time and he'll do well," said Bense, a Panama City businessman and chairman of the Florida State University's Board of Trustees. "His compass is pointed in the right direction."