And AT&T's Brooks McCorcle is up over tournament newcomer Mike Kunz of StorageCraft 75 percent to 25 percent.
2015 Finalist Adam Famularo of Verizon has more of a fight on his hands but he is leading Carbonite's Jessica Couto by a comfortable margin, 55 percent to 45 percent.
The tightest race of the tournament is brewing in the Software region, where SAP's Rodolpho Cardenuto holds a slim lead over 2015 quarterfinalist Marc Dupaquier of IBM. Cardenuto is ahead 51 percent to 49 percent.
Microsoft's Phil Sorgen is sitting pretty in his matchup, leading Palo Alto's Ron Myers 64 percent to 36 percent.
Red Hat's Mark Enzweiler is leading Fortinet's Joe Sykora 66 percent to 34 percent, possibly helped by his team's Twitter campaign with the hashtag #GetMarkThatTrophy.
And 2015 Channel Madness Champion Mike Valentine of Sophos has started his quest to go back-to-back, leading oracle's Bill Swales 61 percent to 39 percent.
So that's where things sit after Day 1 of Channel Madness. Voting in Round 1 remains open until noon ET on Wednesday, March 23. Visit crn.com/madness to cast your votes and choose your chief!