Connect with us

Tampa Bay

Jack Latvala faces only write-in candidate in re-election bid to Florida Senate

Clearwater Republican state Sen. Jack Latvala will not face opposition from either a Republican or a Democrat this fall in Senate District 16, with only write-in candidate Katherine Perkins standing in the way of his being re-elected.

As the qualifying period came to a close Friday, no Democrat rose up to challenge the Pinellas County power broker, who lost out in a battle for the Senate presidency last year to Palm City Republican Joe Negron.

In exchange for a final detente with Negron, Latvala got a coveted consolation prize: the Appropriations Committee chairmanship, making him arguably the most important player in the budget process, given his extensive experience and mastery of the rules.

During the 2016 Legislative Session, Latvala chaired the Senate budget panel on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development and co-chaired the overall committee that oversees the spending of related dollars.

A staple of the Florida Senate across much of the last three decades, Latvala is known as a consummate dealmaker who “would rather get half of what I want that none of it,” as he once said — and knows how to negotiate for it.

FMA_stpeter_blog_305ad728x90

A Tampa Bay Times story about the 2015 Legislative Session, for instance, portrayed the “gruff and tough” Latvala thusly:

“The veteran Republican lawmaker from Clearwater is having another Latvala-esque legislative session, relishing his role on a wide range of issues, from housing to beer to state troopers to Florida’s space program. He’s where the action is.”

Another write-in candidate, Michael Ryan, had been listed on the Division of Elections website, but Ryan did not qualify on Friday.

The 64-year-old Latvala initially served in the Florida Legislature from 1994-2002, and came back to the Senate in 2010.

Conversa_728x90
Written By

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served five years as political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. Mitch also was assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley and is a San Francisco native who has lived in Tampa since 2000. Mitch can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

Florida League of Cities to Ron DeSantis: Veto cancer benefits for firefighters

Headlines

Florida could be first state to limit THC in smokable medical marijuana

Headlines

Winners and losers emerging from the 2019 Legislative Session

Headlines

Olivia Babis changed the conversation on straw bans. Now what?

Headlines

Sign up for Sunburn

Receive our team's agenda-setting morning read of what's hot in Florida politics. Delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday.

Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Jim Rosica, A.G. Gancarski, Joe Henderson, Janelle Irwin, Dan McAuliffe, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Bob Sparks, Andrew Wilson.
Email: Peter@FloridaPolitics.com
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Connect
Sign up for Sunburn

Receive our team's agenda-setting morning read of what's hot in Florida politics. Delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday.