Travis Hutson overcomes Primary challenger, to face write-ins in General

Opponent Gerry James made the Senator spend in the Primary.

State Sen. Travis Hutson will move on to a November General Election after dispatching a Primary challenger Tuesday.

Hutson, who represents Senate District 7, defeated political newcomer Gerry James, by 56% to 43%, but not without having to work for it in the end.

In the last weeks, he poured $90,000 of his personal fortune into his campaign account to facilitate an ad buy just in time for early voting. A positive spot that included a reference to an endorsement from Gov. Ron DeSantis resulted.

James, a financial advisor who entered the race in June, is a former pro wrestler and pro bodybuilder whose fundraising was modest throughout the campaign. He raised and self-funded a little more than $60,000. Yet he was taken seriously by some national Republicans, with an endorsement from Sarah Palin backing his campaign.

In comments ahead of the Primary, James contrasted the DeSantis endorsement, conferred in Putnam County in July ahead of an official press conference, to that one.

“It was a pitiful endorsement,” James contended. “His father has given DeSantis millions of dollars. Ron’s a good man, but he’s running for President. Watch my Sarah Palin endorsement. That’s a true endorsement.”

It’s unclear if Hutson expected the challenge he got from James, even as he told Florida Politics “the outcome of the election (was) never in question.”

His primary political committees, First Coast Business Foundation and Sunshine State Conservatives, distributed well over $500,000 during the cycle where he ended up spending out of pocket to counter James’ messaging. But Hutson said that wasn’t an issue.

“My colleagues and I are fighting for a supermajority,” Hutson said. “I am proud to have helped the Senate leadership in those efforts year after year.”

Hutson has sailed to victory throughout his Senate career, garnering over 60% of the vote in his General Elections, a function of representing a safe Republican district. Former President Donald Trump defeated Joe Biden by roughly 20 points in the district in 2020. With only two write-in candidates against him this November, he should win overwhelmingly.

The district includes territory in St. Johns, Flagler and Volusia counties.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Jim

    August 27, 2022 at 11:59 pm

    James is a snake who I have met with and when I shook his hand I wanted to wash it. He is a long time Democrat from California and I hope he goes back there. I am not thrilled with Hudson but he is a lot better than James is.

  • Mare

    August 28, 2022 at 5:50 am

    Hutson is just out for his daddy’s business
    Gerry is a good man and ran an impressive campaign. Disappointed he didn’t win.

  • Mare

    August 28, 2022 at 10:43 am

    Hutson is 🦏

  • Jeremiah B.

    August 30, 2022 at 7:41 pm

    Hutson is a snake. The mail in votes took Travis to his victory. Republicans don’t vote by mail. Can I get an audit? *************

  • Sarah Arnold's

    August 30, 2022 at 7:51 pm

    Travis is disliked by everyone in all of the counties he ran in. We need to fix our elections because this smell like fraud. He also ran every time people had questions and he has his interests in developing and destroying the areas around his ddistricts. Installing County commissioners and pushing for development and leaving the communities to pay for the infrastructure. I am sure Gerry won that race.

Comments are closed.


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