Joel Rudman, Jayer Williamson line up behind Frank White Senate bid

Frank White
Panhandle Republicans continue to rally behind the only candidate in the race to date.

More Republicans in the Florida Panhandle are rallying around Senate candidate Frank White.

The former Representative picked up endorsements from Rep. Joel Rudman, a Navarre Republican, and from former Rep. Jayer Williamson, a Pace Republican.

“I’m proud to stand with Frank White because he understands that government doesn’t create jobs, the free market does — mostly through hardworking small business owners and entrepreneurs,” said Rudman, who last year won election in House District 3.

“I know that he’ll be the partner we need in Tallahassee to keep a watchful eye on government bureaucrats so they don’t stifle our economy with unneeded regulations.”

Rudman’s support is significant considering that the sitting lawmaker recently showed his mettle with voters, winning a contested GOP Primary in the heart of the district just months ago.

Rudman succeeded Williamson, who served three terms in the House before opting out of a fourth run last year. Williamson recently joined lobbying firm Oak Strategies, and doesn’t appear anxious to seek public office soon. He praised White.

“Too many North Floridians are one single tax increase from a bill going unpaid, and that’s unacceptable,” Williamson said. “I am proud to endorse Frank White for the Florida Senate because I know he will be a taxpayer champion for our families and small businesses by fighting wasteful spending and tax increases.”

White announced last year he would seek the Senate District 1 seat now held by Sen. Doug Broxson, a Pensacola Republican facing term limits.

Since that time, many of the Republicans in the deep red district in position to make a credible challenge to White have instead lined up behind his campaign. That includes Reps. Alex Andrade, a Pensacola Republican, and Michelle Salzman, an Escambia County Republican. With Rudman joining the list, all the major state Representatives with constituencies chiefly living within the Senate district have endorsed White.

So has Broxson, who signaled in February he would like to see White succeed him. Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis also endorsed White.

White, who in 2018 ran for Attorney General but lost the Primary to Ashley Moody, remains the only candidate filed for the seat to date.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


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