Jennifer Bradley has signed up to succeed her husband, Senate Budget Chief Rob Bradley, in Senate District 5.
The Clay County Republican announced her candidacy Wednesday alongside a slate of endorsements from top lawmakers in the state House and Senate.
Among the initial volley of nods was state Rep. Travis Cummings, who was long expected to run for SD 5 after Rob Bradley terms out in 2020. The Clay County Republican’s decision to return to private life rather than run for Senate was first reported in Sunburn Wednesday.
Also backing Bradley: Republican Sens. Wilton Simpson, Kathleen Passidomo and Travis Hutson. Simpson is in line to take over as Senate President after the 2020 elections while Passidomo and Hutson are the top contenders to take the gavel beginning in 2022.
“Jennifer’s ability to make a difference in her community will serve as a strong foundation for her work in Tallahassee on behalf of North Florida,” said Simpson, who will serve as Senate President in 2021 and 2022. “From her contributions to the success of St. Vincent’s Medical Center to her life-changing work at PACE Center for Girls, Jennifer has a proven record of being a voice for those who need it most.”
Passidomo added, “As a mother and a small-business owner, Jennifer is uniquely positioned to fight on behalf of not just the people of Senate District 5, but for all Floridians. Her proven leadership in the community and entrepreneurial spirit would be welcomed assets in the Florida Senate, and I am proud to stand with her.”
Hutson said: “North Florida couldn’t ask for a better advocate in Tallahassee than Jennifer Bradley.
“As the Florida Legislature continues to address the challenges facing our coastal, rural, and high growth areas, Jennifer will bring with her the unique perspective of this incredibly diverse district.”
Bradley, a lawyer and the owner of Hibernia Property Management, is currently the only major party candidate vying for the seat. She joins Libertarian Matthew Charles McCary.
“I’ve had the unique opportunity to travel the 11 counties of Senate District 5 from Levy to Clay for many years now, and I understand the challenges and opportunities facing the rural, coastal and growth areas in this historically diverse part of our state,” said Bradley, who is an alumna of the University of Florida and Florida State University law school.
“I am eager to begin this conversation with the people of North Florida and incredibly honored to have the support of Senators Simpson, Passidomo and Hutson.”
SD 5 covers a broad swath of North Florida, including the whole of Baker, Bradford, Clay, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Lafayette, Levy, Suwannee and Union counties as well as a piece of western Marion County.
The district has a definite GOP advantage — according to the most recent statistics from the Florida Division of Elections, about 51 percent of the district’s voters are registered Republicans while about 29 percent are registered Democrats.
In 2016, the last time the seat was on the ballot, Bradley didn’t face a challenger. That cycle also saw the district go for President Donald Trump at the top of the ticket by a 3-to-1 margin.