Jeff Brandes endorses Jennifer Wilson for HD 59
Jennifer Wilson notches up another solid endorsement.

Jennifer Wilson ART
Wilson is one of three Republicans running to succeed Rep. Nick DiCeglie.

St. Petersburg Republican Sen. Jeff Brandes on Monday endorsed Jennifer Wilson’s campaign for House District 59.

“Jennifer is a dedicated public servant and will be a fierce leader for Pinellas County in Tallahassee, she will continue our fight for the families and businesses that reside here,” Brandes said.

Wilson responded: “Jeff Brandes has cast a long shadow for the rest of us who want to serve our communities as Republican legislators. As the old saying goes, ‘there’s the easy way, and then there’s the right way.’ Jeff’s leadership and service to Florida have proven he’s someone who does what’s right, instead of what’s easy. I’m honored beyond words to have his support.”

The Republican Primary for HD 59 includes Wilson, conservative Bay News 9 commentator Berny Jacques and Navy physician Dipak Dinanath Nadkarni.

Wilson launched her campaign in early September and has so far raised more than $143,000, including $52,610 of her own money. She had about $120,000 in the bank heading into June.

Jacques holds a slight lead in fundraising with about $111,000 in his campaign account and an additional $35,000 on hand in his political committee, Florida Values Coalition. Nadkarni, meanwhile, has raised $56,000, including $50,000 of his own money. He had $48,000 on hand on May 31.

The three are competing for the seat currently held by Republican Rep. Nick DiCeglie, who is running for the Senate seat currently held by Brandes. DiCeglie previously endorsed Wilson as his preferred successor for the House seat. She has also been endorsed by St. Pete Beach Republican Rep. Linda Chaney.

Wilson previously worked for former Sens. Victor Crist, Tom Lee and Jack Latvala, as well as former Rep. Alan Hays, who served in the Senate and then as the Lake County Supervisor of Elections. She also previously worked as a lobbyist for Shumaker Advisors Florida after leaving the Florida office of the firm Adams and Reese in 2018.

Wilson holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida, where she was active in the College Republicans club and student government. Wilson also serves as a member of Keep Pinellas Beautiful, and she counsels veterans and homeless families at various free legal clinics.

HD 59 covers the middle chunk of Pinellas County. Park Boulevard now serves as the southern border for the district. Largo falls in the district, with the city limits forming the northern border.

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Florida Politics reporter Kelly Hayes contributed to this post.

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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