Former Republican Rep. Doug Holder scored an endorsement from the Florida Chamber of Commerce in the crowded race for Senate District 23.
“As a state representative, Doug Holder consistently championed free enterprise, and the Florida Chamber of Commerce believes he will bring that same spirit for free enterprise to the Florida Senate,” said Marian Johnson, senior vice president of political strategy at the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “The Florida Chamber is proud to endorse Doug Holder for the Florida Senate.”
Holder, one of the first candidates in the SD 23 race, said he was “thrilled” by the Chamber’s endorsement.
“As a small business owner I understand the impact of excessive taxation and burdensome regulation,” he said. “I know that I can always count on the Florida Chamber to be a partner in protecting Florida businesses.”
Holder is one of three current or former House members running for the seat, which opened up early due to Venice Republican Sen. Nancy Detert deciding to forego re-election.
The former HD 74 representative faces Reps. Greg Steube and Ray Pilon as well as former Sarasota County Commissioner Nora Patterson and Sarasota businessman Rick Levine in the Republican primary.
Through the end of May, Steube held the top spot with more than $250,000 in his campaign account, followed by Holder with about $133,000, Patterson with $125,000, Pilon with about $72,000 and Levine in last place with about $1,200.
Also running are Democrats Frank Alcock and Frank Cirillo, each with less than $10,000 in their campaign accounts.
The newly redrawn SD 23 includes all of Sarasota County and the western, coastal section of Charlotte County. The district electorate is about 44 percent Republican and 33 percent Democrat and voted plus-8 for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney four years ago.