As the Primary campaign to replace outgoing Rep. Jason Fischer in Jacksonville’s House District 16 begins in earnest, a significant endorsement dropped Thursday for one of two Republican candidates.
The JAXBIZ political committee, affiliated with the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, announced it was backing Adam Brandon in the race.
The endorsement credited Brandon, a lawyer with Rogers Towers and a commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve, with a resume of service and a commitment to relationship building.
“Adam’s deep commitment to serving his country and his community will make him an ideal member of the Duval Delegation,” JAXBIZ Board Chair Abel Harding said. “Adam has worked to build important relationships locally and in Tallahassee that will serve our community well.”
The endorsement comes as Brandon seems to be separating himself from his opponent, Duval County School Board member Lori Hershey, in terms of fundraising.
He had roughly $115,000 on hand at the end of September between his campaign account and his political committee, Genuine Conservatives.
By contrast, Hershey ended September with roughly $33,000 to deploy between her campaign account and that of her political committee, Faith, Family & Freedom.
HD 16, which includes much of Jacksonville’s Southside and Mandarin neighborhoods, has a strong Republican lean in its current map.
As of the 2020 book closing report from the state Division of Elections, it had 17,000 more Republicans than Democrats.
Redistricting could change district lines. But as the district is drawn currently, incumbent Rep. Jason Fischer beat Democrats by a more than 15 percentage point margin in each of his last two reelection bids.
HD 16 has been a Republican sinecure this century. The last Primary in the district was 2016, when Fischer defeated political veteran Dick Kravitz. Former Rep. Charles McBurney preceded Fischer, representing the district between 2007 and 2016, with lines not appreciably changing in the 2012 redistricting. Before that, current Judge Mark Mahon represented the district.
Fischer isn’t seeking reelection and is instead vying for Duval County Property Appraiser.