Jacksonville Beach City Councilman Chet Stokes, within a week of launching his campaign for the Republican nomination in the new House District 16, buttressed his effort by earning support from two Beaches Mayors, three Jacksonville Beach City Council members and a Jacksonville City Council member.
“Chet Stokes is the leader our region needs in Tallahassee,” Jacksonville City Councilman Rory Diamond said in a statement. “An authentic conservative, Chet will fight for our way of life and defend our constitutional freedoms. I am proud to lend him my support and endorsement.”
Diamond has his own higher office ambitions, and is looking at the newly drawn Florida’s 4th Congressional District.
Stokes won his at-large seat on the Jacksonville City Council in 2020 with around 52% of the vote, and is still in his first term. The current vice president at Stokes Land Group, Stokes is also managing partner of Marsh Landing Country Club.
“Jacksonville’s beach communities will have a strong ally with Chet Stokes serving in the Legislature,” Jacksonville Beach Mayor Chris Hoffman said in a statement. “I am proud to support his campaign and encourage residents to join me in voting for Chet on August 23rd.”
Joining Hoffman in backing their fellow Council member were Dan Janson, Fernando Meza and Cory Nichols. Neptune Beach Mayor Elaine Brown also offered her support.
“Chet Stokes has been involved and has shown a passion to protect and ensure our quality of life for our Beaches communities,” Brown said in a statement. “We need someone in Tallahassee that understands and represents the needs of our three beach cities. I am excited to see that he is running for State Representative. We need OUR representative in Tallahassee.”
Notably, Rep. Cord Byrd, who represented part of the area under the old maps and was redistricted out of his old district, is a Neptune Beach resident and has yet to make his future intentions known.