The Florida Retail Federation on Tuesday endorsed nine incumbent Republican state Senators and one incumbent Democrat for re-election in the fall.
Making the trade association’s general election list were Republican Sens. Dennis Baxley, Aaron Bean, George Gainer, Tom Lee, Kathleen Passidomo, Keith Perry, Wilton Simpson, Kelli Stargel, and Dana Young, as well as Democratic Sen. Bobby Powell.
“Florida’s retail industry is vital to the success of our state, and for our industry and our members to be successful we need legislative leaders who can help ensure Florida remains a retail- and business-friendly state,” said FRF president and CEO R. Scott Shalley. “These Senators have been supportive of retail during their time as legislators, and we look forward to working with each of them when they return to the Florida Senate.”
Many of the same lawmakers were issued solo endorsements earlier in the 2018 cycle — Bean, Baxley, and Passidomo each picked up FRF endorsements in June, while Young got the nod in July and Gainer’s re-election recommendation came along in mid-August.
FRF has also endorsed former Clearwater Republican Rep. Ed Hooper, who is competing against former New Port Richey Democratic Rep. Amanda Murphy to take over the vacant SD 16.
Most of the incumbents endorsed by the Florida Retail Federation on Tuesday are primed for re-election in three weeks, though Perry, Stargel, and Young are each running for another term in a seat being targeted by the Florida Democratic Party.
Recent polling shows Perry, first elected in 2016, has a double-digit edge over Democratic challenger Kayser Enneking in the SD 8 race, while Stargel is up 12 points over retired circuit court judge Bob Doyel in SD 22.
Young, however, is in a tight race with House Minority Leader Janet Cruz in SD 18. The most recent poll of the race shows Cruz with a slim advantage in the northwestern Hillsborough district, which covers much of Tampa. Prior polls have shown the two women jockeying in the purple district.
Election Day is Nov. 6.