National environmental group Sierra Club is backing Democrat Adam Hattersley in the Chief Financial Officer race, the organization revealed.
David Harbeitner, Chair of the Sierra Club’s Florida Chapter Political Committee, cited the “ineffectiveness” of incumbent Republican CFO Jimmy Patronis and the “lack of meaningful reforms” in the aftermath of the collapse of the apartment building in Surfside in August 2021 for the group’s endorsement.
“For the past four years, corporate interests have been placed in front of Florida’s citizens. As a result, the property insurance market is near collapse with individual property owners paying the price. Lack of meaningful reforms to assessing the risks to our condominium dwellers post the Seaside building collapse further reflect the ineffectiveness of our current CFO,” Harbeitner said in a prepared statement released Thursday.
“Rather than being a leader protecting citizens, he simply reacts to what the Governor instructs him to do. We are confident that Hattersley will continue the work he did while a member of the Florida House of Representatives, focusing on representing everyday Floridians and protecting our interests.”
Hattersley, a Tampa resident, won a state House seat in 2018 but opted to run for Congress in 2020. He lost the Democratic Primary for the District 15 seat to Alan Cohn, who later lost the General Election contest for that seat to Republican Scott Franklin.
Harbeitner also noted Hattersley’s sponsorship of a bill to protect endangered species and the importance of addressing global warming to preserve Florida’s environment.
“I’m excited and honored to earn the endorsement from the Sierra Club,” Hattersley said in a released statement.
“Having the support of such a large and respected organization, one that does amazing advocacy and public work, is a major benefit to our campaign. I’m ready to finally bring representation for all Floridians back to the CFO’s office, and make sure that we do all we can to both save you money, and make Florida the best place to raise a family AND come to visit.”
Beyond the endorsement, Harbeitner pledged to use the group’s volunteers to help Hattersley’s campaign, which could use the boost to overcome the Patronis’ large fundraising advantage. At the start of September, Patronis had $4.5 million in his campaign and political committee combined, while Hattersley had just $9,000 in his campaign account. Patronis also just released his first TV ad of the campaign this week.
“Scores of Sierra Club volunteers will contact voters on Hattersley’s behalf and we will speak to the public as often as possible about his exemplary environmental record and his constant focus on Floridian’s well-being,” Harbeitner added. “We look forward to a victory for Hattersley on election night.”