No. 17 on the list of Tampa Bay’s Most Powerful Politicians: Jim Boyd

Tallahassee's resident expert on insurance brought millions home for Piney Point and Rattlesnake Key.

Whenever home insurance makes the news — which happens with frequency in Florida — Sen. Jim Boyd’s phone rings.

An insurance agent by trade, the lawmaker also stands as the Legislature’s resident expert on the complex topic. But it’s hardly the only issue on which he holds an opinion or significant sway.

The longtime lawmaker rose to House leadership, serving as former Speaker Richard Corcoran’s Deputy Majority Leader and Majority Whip. After eight years in the House and a two-year break from lawmaking, Boyd returned to Tallahassee as a Senator in 2020 and established himself as a reliable voice in the upper chamber.

“Sen. Boyd and his wife, Sandy, are dear, dear friends. Serving with Jim in the Senate has been a bonus,” said Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, who served with Boyd in the House and Senate.

“With the current state of our property insurance market and his life’s work in that field, he was immediately called upon by President (Wilton) Simpson to lead the Senate’s efforts on property insurance reform. Likewise, I appointed Jim as Chair of Banking and Insurance to continue his work on reforms that create a fair playing field for companies seeking to do business in our states, with competitive prices for consumers and strong protections during the claims process. We are already beginning to see the fruits of those labors.”

Shumaker Executive Vice President Alan Suskey also praised Boyd.

“Jim Boyd’s leadership in the Tampa Bay region cannot be overstated,” Suskey said.

“From tackling tough issues like property insurance reform and behavioral health to securing funds for his local community, Chair Boyd has always had the constituents of Senate District 20 in the forefront of his mind. A well-liked and thoughtful leader, Jim is respected by his colleagues and the professionals working around the Capitol. The Senate will continue to be in great hands under leaders like Jim Boyd.”

Over his years in Tallahassee, Boyd has wielded the influence he already had with almost unbelievable acumen. And the region has benefited from that knowledge.

“Jim Boyd is simply the definition of class. He is so well-respected by his peers for his integrity and kindness and he embodies the highest qualities of a devoted family man while also possessing the business acumen to navigate the complexities of the modern world with grace, wisdom, and as most tend to learn, a tad bit of humor,” said lobbyist Heather Turnbull.

As a freshman Senator, Boyd persuaded lawmakers mid-Session to make a multimillion-dollar, multiyear investment to close and clean up the Piney Point industrial site after a 2021 breach discharged 215 million gallons of untreated, polluted water directly into Tampa Bay.

Just a year later, he convinced colleagues to budget $23 million to purchase Rattlesnake Key, an island just on the Manatee County side of the Sunshine Skyway, for use as a state park.

“Sen. Boyd has the admiration of everyone, including me. I don’t know of one person that has a negative thing to say about Jim Boyd,” said Rep. Will Robinson, a Bradenton Republican who has worked closely with Boyd on regional issues.

“He is the consummate professional and always treats people with full respect. That is why he is so effective. Politics is a tough profession and you will make enemies along the way. Jim, with his style and inclusiveness, makes none — at least ones I know.”

Regional lawmakers, particularly those representing the south side of Tampa Bay, turn to Boyd for mentorship and assistance navigating the process.

“Sen. Boyd has a heart for doing what’s right for our region and our state, rivaled only by his ability to adeptly navigate challenging pieces of legislation through the Process with constancy, wit and charm,” said Rep. Fiona McFarland, a Sarasota Republican.

The Bradenton lawmaker’s stature seems likely only to grow. Expected to become Senate President in 2026 as long as Republicans hold the chamber, he should take his place as a presiding officer before Florida’s next Governor gets sworn in, allowing the chance to run The Process in a way that feels foreign after years of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ executive rule.

“I’m sad that term limits will require my retirement from the Senate before Jim becomes President in a few years,” Passidomo lamented. “He will lead the Senate with grace and good humor. I can’t wait to watch!”

But there likely won’t be a wait to see Boyd tally more success in the Legislature. Home insurance inevitably will be a chief concern for lawmakers when they return to Tallahassee after the elections — if the matter doesn’t prove so urgent they come back for a Special Session before that. Boyd will almost certainly become the face of any proposed legislation focused on reducing costs for the service in a state where hurricanes remain a perpetual threat.

In the meantime, he will continue advocating for the region and playing a significant role in shaping its future.

“Jim is a humble man (who) never seeks the credit or limelight and has not changed one bit since he first stepped foot on the House floor in 2011. He has become one of the most effective legislators ever to come from Manatee County.”



We define the Tampa Bay region as Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco, but can also include Hernando, Polk or Sarasota — if the politicians from those counties impact either Pinellas or Hillsborough.

We define a politician as being in office or running for office.

Being first on a panelist’s list earns the politician 25 points, second earns them 24 points and so on, to where being listed 25th earns a politician 1 point. Points are added and, voilà, we have a list.

Special thanks go to our experienced and knowledgeable panelists, who were essential to developing the 2024 list: Christina Barker of the Vinik Family Office, Ashley Bauman of Mercury, Matthew Blair of Corcoran Partners, Ed Briggs of RSA Consulting, political consultant Maya BrownRicky Butler of the Pinellas Co. Sheriff’s Office, Reggie Cardozo of The Public Square, Ronald Christaldi of Schumaker, Ana Cruz of Ballard Partners, Justin Day of Capital City Consulting, Barry EdwardsJoe Farrell of Pinellas Realtors, pollster Matt Florell of Vicidial Group, Shawn Foster of Sunrise Consulting Group, Adam Giery of Strategos Group, political consultant Max GoodmanMike Griffin of Savills, Natalie King of RSA Consulting, political consultant Benjamin Kirby, TECO Energy Regional Affairs Coordinator Shannon Love, Merritt Martin of Moffitt Cancer Center, Mike Moore of The Southern Group, political consultant Anthony PediciniRon Pierce of RSA Consulting, J.C. Pritchett, pastor of St. Pete’s Faith Church, Darren Richards of Tucker/Hall, Preston Rudie of Catalyst Communications Group, Amanda Stewart of Johnston and Stewart, and Alan Suskey of Shumaker Advisors. With Michelle and Peter Schorsch.

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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