Jason Holloway combats questions of GOP loyalty

Jason holloway
Despite criticisms of his previous Democratic ties, Holloway has earned backing from several prominent state Republicans.

House District 58 candidate Jason Holloway is battling recent criticisms questioning his loyalty to the Republican Party, which highlight his former ties to the Pinellas County Democratic Party.

State Rep. Chris Latvala, who is vacating the seat being sought by Holloway, has shared several posts slamming Holloway’s previous associations with Florida Democrats. The ads were paid for by the Suncoast Better Government Committee, which is affiliated with Latvala, and were subsequently posted to “Clearwater Conservatives.”

“Former Democratic Party Elected Official Jason Holloway signed a loyalty oath to the Democratic Party in 2016 to not oppose any democratic candidate including Hillary Clinton,” the ad reads. “Jason Holloway is no Conservative. He is an opportunist.”

Latvala endorsed former Rep. Kim Berfield as his preferred successor, and in his statement, took a dig at Holloway by highlighting Berfield as “a lifelong member of our Republican party.”

It’s no secret that Holloway was a Democrat. He served as a Precinct Committeeman for the Pinellas County Democratic Executive Committee back in 2016, and worked as a legislative aide to Democratic Sen. Darryl Rouson.

But in 2019, after the election of Gov. Ron DeSantis, Holloway changed his party affiliation and joined the GOP.

Holloway credits DeSantis, and the 2018 Midterm push by Republicans to register more party members, for his switch. He emphasized the appeal of traditional, conservative values of smaller government and lower taxes.

“Gov. DeSantis has worked diligently to increase the number of Republicans in Florida, which includes getting people to switch their registration because they believe in the values of smaller government, lower taxes and more freedom,” Holloway told Florida Politics. “Like Presidents (Ronald) Reagan and (Donald) Trump, I switched to the Republican Party because their values better reflected mine.”

And while Latvala questions Holloway’s ties, the candidate has earned backing from several prominent state Republicans, including Republican Party of Florida Chair Joe Gruters, Sen. Jeff Brandes and Rep. Nick DiCeglie.

Holloway was also appointed by Gov. DeSantis 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.

“Gov. DeSantis appointed me to the Blockchain Task Force in 2019 because he trusted me,” Holloway said.

Holloway faces Berfield, who served in the House from 2000-06, and Jim Vricos in the upcoming Republican Primary on Aug. 23. The winner of the GOP nomination will go on to face the Democratic nominee, either Bernie Fensterwald or Joseph Saportas.

The redrawn Clearwater district has a slight Republican lean, with 52% of voters supporting Trump in 2020, and about 47% backing President Joe Biden.

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected].


  • Brandon

    July 21, 2022 at 2:01 pm

    Holloway sounds like a Born Again Republican to me. He does not need to be in the legislature/. He is a fraud and a fake.

  • Joe Corsin

    July 21, 2022 at 2:07 pm

    Democratic ties means that he just might get something done for everyday people instead of just the rich. However, just being in the GOP is enough to signal he will just aid in the continuation of the big grift… shoveling money to the rich .

Comments are closed.


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