A dozen House candidates get the Florida Chamber’s seal of approval

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The list includes 11 candidates running for open seats.

The Florida Chamber of Commerce issued a bulk endorsement Friday, giving its approval to a dozen state House candidates running in the November General Election.

“These candidates support priorities and policies where local businesses can thrive as Florida continues to lead as the best state in the nation for jobs and smart growth,” said Florida Chamber President and CEO Mark Wilson. “Through these difficult times, we will continue our work to secure Florida’s future by supporting candidates that are pro-business, pro-jobs and will safeguard the strength of our economy.”

None of the 12 candidates endorsed Friday are incumbents, and all but one is running for an open seat.

The lone exception is Pensacola Republican Michelle Salzman, who defeated controversial Rep. Mike Hill in the primary for House District 1 earlier this month.

Like Salzman, most on the list are Republicans who cleared their biggest hurdle in the primary, including Patt Maney in House District 4, Joe Harding in House District 22, Webster Barnaby in House District 27, Kaylee Tuck in House District 55, David Borrero in House District 105, Alex Rizo in House District 110 and Jim Mooney in House District 120.

Three other Chamber-backed Republicans are hoping to flip seats currently held by Democrats.

The first, Jeremy Sisson, is a longshot. He is running against Rep. Anna Eskamani in House District 47. Though it was once in Republican hands, Eskamani won her first term by 15 points two years ago.

The others are Fiona McFarland in House District 72 and Demi Busatta Cabrera in House District 114. Both are running for seats held by Democrats seeking higher office.

McFarland earned a narrow victory in the GOP primary and now faces Democrat Drake Buckman in the General Election for the seat currently held by Democratic Rep. Margaret Good, who is giving up the seat to run for Congress.

Cabrera went unopposed in the primary and is going head-to-head against Democrat Jean-Pierre Bado in the race to succeed Rep. Javier Fernández, who is running for Senate.

The Chamber’s final endorsement went to Christine Hunschofsky, a Democrat who is in line to succeed the late Rep. Kristin Jacobs in the solidly blue House District 96.

“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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