Yard signs: Florida Realtors announce November election endorsements

Ron DeSantis and Jeanette Nunez

Florida Realtors PAC, the political arm of the state’s largest professional association, issued endorsements in statewide races and a bundle of legislative districts Wednesday.

The group released three waves of endorsements ahead of the Aug. 28 primary election. Now that the title cards are set, their list of preferred candidates received a few adjustments.

Republican gubernatorial nominee Ron DeSantis has been subbed in for the Florida Realtors’ primary season pick, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, at the top of the ticket. The GOP nominee to replace Putnam, state Rep. Matt Caldwell, has tagged in Sebring Sen. Denise Grimsley.

Sitting CFO Jimmy Patronis, the only incumbent Cabinet member, remains the Realtor-backed pick for the general election, as does Republican Attorney General nominee Ashley Moody, who defeated Pensacola state Rep. Frank White by double digits three weeks ago.

“As Realtors, we pride ourselves on our long-standing efforts to defend private property rights, promote community prosperity and preserve a professional climate that ensures the economic growth of Florida,” said Florida Realtors PAC chair Ann DeFries.

“Our continued success in these efforts involves elected officials who share these beliefs and will work with our 180,000-plus members to help Floridians and their communities thrive.”

Other than the CFO race, where Democratic challenger Jeremy Ring has trailed in both the polls and in fundraising, Florida’s statewide contests are shaping up to be competitive.

DeSantis currently trails Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum by a hair in most polls, while Nikki Fried and Sean Shaw, the Democratic nominees for Ag Commish and Attorney General, scored comfortable wins in the primary and have shown solid fundraising thus far.

Further down the ballot, the Republican nominees in the most competitive state Senate districts — Sen. Keith Perry in SD 8, former state Rep. Ed Hooper in SD 16, Sen. Dana Young in SD 18, Sen. Kelli Stargel in SD 22 and state Rep. Manny Diaz in SD 36 — all retained their endorsements from July.

Perry, Hooper, Young and Stargel each held a lead in over their Democratic challengers in public polls conducted this week by St. Pete Polls.

A full list of endorsed candidates is available on the Florida Realtors PAC website. The general election is Nov. 6.

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.


  • Ray Tampa

    September 20, 2018 at 5:51 am

    “As realtors, we pride ourselves on our longstanding efforts to defend private property rights, promote community prosperity, and preserve a professional climate that ensures economic growth in Florida,” says Ann Defries, Florida Realtors PAC Chair. This is the well rehearsed standard talking points for realtor leaders around the state. To this I say – bulls—.

    First, the realtors’ leadership tries to convey political strength by citing the size of the membership. What they don’t tell the public is that the membership is forced due to the fact that a person wanting to engage in providing the services of a realtor MUST join the local and state realtor organizations. A portion of your membership fees automatically go to the PAC. The vast majority of realtors disagree with the decisions made by the Political Action Committees.

    For example: How did the realtors’ PAC conclude that a grown man who has his nose stuck up the azz of Donald Trump would promote community prosperity? How did the they conclude that a racist, dog whistling candidate who admires David Horowitz and Richard Spencer offers the best chance of ensuring a professional climate in Florida? How did they conclude that simply being a republican better positioned the candidates to best do the things Ann Defries said?

    Florida’s voters are a lot smarter than what Ann Devries and her kind think. Just look at how hard she pushed for Adam Putnam. Now, the voters will show her again that the realtor’s PAC is full of bulls—.

    • Judy Spangler

      September 20, 2018 at 6:37 am

      Well stated and I couldn’t agree more, @Ray Tampa.

    • Jan L

      September 20, 2018 at 7:06 am

      Thank you Ray!

    • Independent voter

      September 20, 2018 at 11:02 am

      in Andrew Gillum is a known anti-semite who hates Jews and is a far-left radical who will raise your taxes through the roof and cut your Social Security benefits to pay for his radical welfare programs!

  • Ray Tampa

    September 20, 2018 at 11:51 am

    Independent Voter, have you ever heard the phrase – “Stupid as stupid gets.” Well, re-read your posting and think about the things I’m about to say. First, we have Trump and his cronies spending money like there’s no tomorrow. The same national debt they repeatedly bashed President Obama about has more than doubled in the short two years of Trump’s tenure. It is now more than 21 trillion dollars, the highest in our country’s history. Deranged Desantis has supported this runaway train. Since you mentioned welfare, Trump and his cronies, mainly people like DeSantis, have doled out so much corporate welfare that even some of the recipients voiced opinions that they didn’t need it.

    Furthermore, the governor (Gollum) will Not cut your social security, that is a federal program. As a matter of fact, Trump and his cronies are talking about doing just what you accused our future governor, Gollum, of wanting to do. DeSantis would be right there supporting this nonsense but he left Congress to campaign or fool people like you.

    Damn, stupid as stupid gets.

  • Ray Tampa

    September 20, 2018 at 11:56 am

    Gillum, not Gollum. Computer error.

Comments are closed.


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 @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn