The same day former Darryl Rouson legislative aide Jason Holloway filed to run for Florida House District 67 in 2022 he rolled out a trove of endorsements from current and former elected officials in Pinellas County.
Holloway is seeking the mid-Pinellas seat currently held by Rep. Chris Latvala who is not seeking reelection because of term limits. Both Holloway and Latvala are Republicans.
The endorsements include Florida GOP Chair and Sen. Joe Gruters, former Rep. Larry Ahern and his wife, Maureen Ahern, former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker and St. Petersburg City Council member Robert Blackmon, all Republicans.
“Jason Holloway is the best choice for House District 67. He will be a champion for small businesses, work to keep our taxes low and fight for our conservative values,” Gruters said in a statement announcing his support. “Jason has already shown strong leadership and an innovative mindset for solving our state’s issues on the Florida Blockchain Taskforce and will continue to bring solutions to the table in the Florida House.”
Holloway is so far the only candidate to file for the race. Kim Berfield, a Republican who served in the House from 2000 to 2006, is rumored to be eyeing a bid. Berfield ran for the Florida Senate in 2006, but lost to now-Pinellas County Commissioner Charlie Justice.
Holloway served for years as a legislative aide to Sen. Rouson, a Democrat. He has also worked with political consultant Barry Edwards on campaigns representing candidates on both sides of the political aisle, putting him in prime position to court votes from both parties.
Holloway was appointed to the Florida Blockchain Task Force in late 2019, prompting his departure from Rouson’s legislative staff. The task force was established to develop a master plan for expanding the blockchain industry in the state. Blockchain is a system of recording information and data to protect against hacks. Holloway has a master’s degree from the University of Nicosia in Cyprus in digital currencies and blockchain technology.
“As mayor of St. Petersburg, I promoted Florida’s entrepreneurial, self-confident, and independent spirit,” Baker said in his endorsement. “Jason believes in the same approach, supporting small businesses and bringing more jobs to our state while helping our economy recover. He will fight to ensure all citizens have the opportunity to achieve the American dream.”
Holloway told Florida Politics he plans to run on three key pillars — transparency and accountability in government contracts, increasing Florida’s technology footprint in business, and environmental stewardship.
“It’s critical, now more than ever, that we elect leaders who will support our law enforcement, serve as a watchdog for our hard-earned tax dollars and protect our freedoms by limiting government,” the Aherns offered in a statement supporting Holloway. “Jason Holloway will be that leader and stand up for us in Tallahassee. We proudly support him for the Florida House of Representatives.”
Added Blackmon: “Jason Holloway is a good friend, and a great public servant. His leadership on statewide boards and command of local constituent issues is second to none. We are lucky to have such a competent, compassionate, qualified candidate step forward to succeed Representative Latvala. Jason has my full support.”
Holloway also received support from prominent local GOP donor Betty Sembler and Tampa Bay Regional Transit Authority Chair James Holton, who previously served as vice chair of Citizen’s Property Insurance and chair of the Florida Transportation Commission. Holton was also a Republican member of the 2020 Electoral College.