Florida Chamber releases second wave of House endorsements

A dozen candidates running for open seats or against incumbents.

The Florida Chamber of Commerce released another dozen state House endorsements Monday, adding to its bulk endorsement of 57 House incumbents last week.

All of the candidates in the new set are challenging incumbents or running for open seats. The Chamber endorsements follow candidate interviews to determine their positions on issues important to the pro-business group.

“The Florida Chamber works to ensure Florida maintains a pro-business, pro-jobs climate, safeguarding the strength of our economy,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO, Florida Chamber of Commerce. “We trust these candidates will support priorities and policies where local business owners can thrive as Florida continues to lead as the best state in the nation for jobs and smart growth.”

Eight of the new endorsements head to candidates running for open seats.

They include Republicans Sam Garrison in HD 18, Keith Truenow in HD 31, Adam Botana in HD 76, Mike Giallombardo in HD 77, Lauren Melo in HD 80. Three Democrats also got the nod: Kristen Arrington in HD 43, Julio Rocha in HD 48 and Christopher Benjamin in HD 107.

The rest of the endorsements went to candidates looking to give the boot to an incumbent lawmaker.

Topping that list is former Rep. Bob Cortes, who is running to retake HD 30. The Altamont Springs Republican held the seat for two terms before losing reelection to now-Democratic Rep. Joy Goff-Marcil in the 2018 cycle.

“I’m honored to receive the backing of the Florida Chamber and look forward to championing policies that will help our economy rebuild,” Cortes said.

The Chamber also endorsed Republican Bruno Portigliatti over Democratic Rep. Geraldine Thompson in HD 44; Republican Dana Trabulsy over Democratic Rep. Delores Hogan in HD 84; and Republican Tom Fabricio over Democratic Rep. Cindy Polo in HD 103.

“These strong candidates will work tirelessly to create jobs and move Florida in the right direction,” said Nick Catroppo, the Florida Chamber’s Vice President of Political Operations. “The Florida Chamber is proud to stand with them and we look forward to working with them in the Florida House.”

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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