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All smiles: Travis Hutson was happy with the 2019 Session. Image via Colin Hackley.

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Travis Hutson raises serious dough for Senate Republicans

The Palm Coast Republican wants to be Senate President in 2022.

State Sen. Travis Hutson spent October gathering resources to ensure the Florida Senate remains in Republican hands.

The Palm Coast Republican raised $132,500 for the political committee Sunshine State Conservatives in October. The purpose of the Hutson-association organization is to “highlight, promote and support conservative causes and candidates in the State of Florida, and to work toward a bright future of opportunity, for all, in the Sunshine State.”

Meanwhile, the separate committee First Coast Business Foundation directed $100,000 to Senate President-Designate Wilton Simpson’s Florida Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee.

That check was actually written on Nov. 1.

That was on top of money directed to specific Senate candidates’ campaigns.

The First Coast Business Foundation committee in recent months has written $1,000 checks to a number of Republicans seeking open Senate seats, including Jim Boyd in Bradenton, Ana Maria Rodriguez in Miami, Jennifer Bradley in Fleming Island and Ray Rodrigues in Estero.

More recently, the committee in October sent $1,000 to Cape Coral House candidate Mike Giallombardo and St. Johns County Commissioner Henry Dean.

Hutson was first elected to the Florida Senate in 2015, when the Northeast Florida seat was opened up by the resignation of John Thrasher to lead Florida State University. Hutson previously served in the Florida House of Representatives.

But he’s also in a friendly but serious battle for the Senate presidency himself. He’s in competition with Naples Sen. Kathleen Passidomo, with the two Republicans aspiring to become presiding officer for the chamber after the 2022 elections.

Simpson, Passidomo and Hutson have issued joint endorsements in more than one key Senate contest in the 2020 cycle, showing the top priority remains keeping the chamber in GOP control for both the 2020 and 2022 election cycles.

Written By

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at jacobogles@hotmail.com.

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