Another establishment endorsement went the way of Jacksonville Beach City Councilman Chet Stokes this week.
Stokes, one of three Republicans on the August Primary ballot in House District 16, secured the endorsement of JAXBIZ, a nonpartisan political committee affiliated with the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce.
“Chet’s business background and experience in local government will bring a welcome perspective to Tallahassee and we look forward to working with him in the Florida House,” JAXBIZ Board Chair Abel Harding said.
Stokes has secured endorsements from groups including Americans for Prosperity and the Jacksonville Association of Fire Fighters, along with a host of local elected officials from Jacksonville and Jacksonville Beach. This endorsement continues that trend.
Stokes is one of three Republicans running in the August Primary, and he is the best positioned for the road ahead. Stokes had more than $250,000 on hand at the end of June between his campaign account and his Strengthening Florida’s Future political committee. He’s already aired television ads.
Ray, a political veteran who represented the western part of the district from 2008 to 2016, had just over $170,000 on hand as of the most recent numbers between his campaign account and the A Stronger Florida for Us political committee.
A third candidate, Kiyan Michael, had nearly $20,000 on hand.
No Democrats are running in this heavily Republican district, but only Republicans can vote in this Primary, as two write-in candidates qualified for the August Primary, closing what would have been an open Primary that would have allowed non-Republicans to vote.