Central Florida hotel association backs Erika Booth in HD 35 race
Erika Booth. Photo courtesy campaign.

Erika Booth
The CFHLA represents most hotels in the tourism-rich district.

The tourism industry is putting its strength behind Republican Erika Booth in a critical Central Florida Special Election.

The Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association’s political action committee and political committee board endorsed the Osceola County School Board member in House District 35.

“CFHLA PAC and PC is excited to continue our endorsement and support Erika Booth in this important and upcoming special general election,” said Jay Leonard, general manager of the Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs Resort Area and Chair of the CFHLA PAC and PC.

“As a longtime educator and current School Board member, Erika understands the importance of tourism and the positive impacts it has on our community. Plus, she is willing to seek the workforce development solutions in Tallahassee that will help to support the future of the hospitality industry and its workers, along with the continued vitality of our community.”

Booth emerged as the Republican nominee in November. She faces Democratic nominee Tom Keen.

The two will face off in a Jan. 16 Special Election to succeed former Rep. Fred Hawkins, a St. Cloud Republican who resigned his seat to take over as President of South Florida State College.

The Central Florida district, which covers much of the area around the Walt Disney World theme parks, has a heavy concentration of hotels and hospitality workers. As a result, the CFHLA boasts being the largest regional lodging association in the U.S., with its members representing approximately 80% of some 129,500 hotel rooms in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties.

Its membership also includes more than 500 supplier organizations that do business with the hospitality and tourism industries.

Early voting in the Special Election begins on Saturday at locations in Orange and Osceola counties.

The district is considered a battleground, and both parties have invested heavily in the race.

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].


  • Phil Morton

    January 6, 2024 at 8:20 pm

    Democrats over performed by 11 points in 2023 special elections. If that holds true for this race, the “conservative patriot” doesn’t stand a chance. Lots of wasted money by the Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association.

    • Earl Pitts "Sage Political Expert Emeritas" American

      January 9, 2024 at 7:17 pm

      Whats going on here, Phillip, is a game changer for “Sage American Patriots”. At long last after me, Earl Pitts American’s, pounding them over the head they finally see the “Sage Wisdom” of running a qualified “Hot MlLF for elected office.
      Earl Pitts American

Comments are closed.


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