BusinessForce announced the endorsements Wednesday of 12 Republicans and two Democrats in upcoming legislative and county commission races in Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties.
The organization, an independent, nonpartisan group that promotes business interests in Central Florida, has picked Republican former Rep. Jason Brodeur in what is the hottest battle in Central Florida. Brodeur, president of the Seminole County Regional Chamber of Commerce, was endorsed over Democrat Patricia Sigman and independent Jestine Iannotti in Senate District 9, which represents Seminole County and parts of southern Volusia County.
BusinessForce endorsed the reelection of Democratic Sen. Randolph Bracy in Senate District 11 in western Orange County, over Republican Joshua Adams.
In Senate District 15, covering southern Orange County and Osceola County, the organization endorsed the reelection of Sen. Victor Torres over Republican Lou Minnis and independent Mike James.
In House races, BusinessForce endorsed:
– Republican Rep. David Smith in HD 28, over Democrat Pasha Baker and independent Michael Riccio.
– Republican Rep. Scott Plakon in HD 29, over Democrat Tracey Kagan and independent Juan Rodriguez.
– Republican former Rep. Bob Cortes in HD 30, over Democratic incumbent Rep. Joy Goff-Marcil.
– Republican Keith Truenow in HD 31, over Democrat Crissy Stile.
– Republican Josie Tomkow in HD 39, over Democrat Chris Cause.
– Republican Fred Hawkins in HD 42 over Democrat Barbara Cady.
– Republican Bruno Portigliatti in HD 44 over Democratic incumbent Rep. Geraldine Thompson.
– Republican Rep. Rene Plasencia in HD 50 over Democrat Nina Yoakum.
In the Seminole County Commission races, BusinessForce backed Republican Commissioners Bob Dallari and Lee Constantine for reelections in Districts 1 and 3 respectively, and endorsed Republican Andria Herr in District 5.
BusinessForce did not make an endorsement in Senate District 13, where Democratic Rep. Linda Stewart faces Republican Josh Anderson.
Nor did it make endorsements House District 47, where Democratic Rep. Anna V. Eskamani faces Republican Jeremy Sisson, nor House District 49, where Democratic Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith faces Republican Robert Prater.
The organization also did not make a pick in House District 48, where Democrat Daisy Morales and Republican Jesus Martinez are battling for an open seat.