Florida Chamber endorses 20 more state legislative candidates

endorsements (Large)

The Florida Chamber of Commerce released a “second round” of endorsements for state legislative races Thursday, adding four incumbents and 16 candidates to the 60 endorsements announced in May.

“To help ensure Florida remains competitive, we need candidates that are focused on supporting jobs and the Floridians they employ,” said Marian Johnson, the Florida Chamber’s senior vice president of political operations. “The Florida Chamber is proud to support candidates that support free enterprise.”

Like the first round of endorsements, the Florida Chamber said the endorsements were issued based on the grades they’ve received on the org’s annual Legislative Report Card as well as candidate interviews.

Making the cut in the upper chamber was Thonotosassa Republican Sen. Tom Lee, while House incumbents getting the nod included Neptune Beach Republican Rep. Cord Byrd, Polk City Republican Rep. Josie Tomkow and Tequesta Republican Rep. MaryLynn Magar.

Like the current lawmakers in the announcement, all the non-incumbents picking up an endorsement Thursday were Republicans. The full list: Alex Andrade for HD 2, Marc A. Vann for HD 10, Wyman Duggan for HD 15, Elizabeth sure for HD 26, Ardian Zika for HD 37, Henry Parrish for HD 51, Sean McCoy for HD 57, Joseph Wicker for HD 59, Nick DiCeglie for HD 66, Jeremy Bailie for HD 69, Melissa Howard for HD 73, James Buchanan for HD 74, Spencer Roach for HD 79, Matt Spritz for HD 89, Vance Aloupis for HD 115, Anthony Rodriguez for HD 118.

Among that set, only two are vying to unseat an incumbent lawmaker — Fetterhoff is challenging Daytona Beach Democratic Rep. Patrick Henry, while Rodriguez is up against Miami Democratic Rep. Robert Asencio.

“It is imperative that candidates who are focused on job creation and further economic growth for Floridians are elected to the legislature, and that legislators with proven track records of supporting policies aimed at enhancing Florida’s competitiveness are re-elected,” Johnson said.

“The Florida Chamber is focused on keeping the momentum built under eight years of leadership from Governor Scott going, and these endorsements represent the business community’s view of who we need as partners in the legislature to accomplish that mission.”

The Florida Chamber also said it expects to release additional rounds of endorsements before the Nov. 6 general election.

Drew Wilson

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.


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