Central Florida hoteliers list endorsements for House, local races

Tallahassee, FL, USA - February 11, 2022: Florida State Capitol
The hotel lobbying group is a powerful force.

The Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association’s (CFHLA) PAC is endorsing four Republican incumbents running for re-election in the House.

CFHLA endorses Rep. Rachel Plakon for House District 36, Rep. Susan Plasencia for House District 37, Rep. David Smith for House District 38 and Rep. Doug Bankson for House District 39.

In addition, the powerful interest group is backing several Democrats and Republicans for county Boards, as well as candidates in the nonpartisan School Board races in Orange County.

CFHLA represents approximately 80% of the more than 129,500 hotel rooms throughout the Central Florida Region, as well as more than 500 suppliers who work within the industry, the organization said in a press release.

“Each of these candidates has also proven themselves to be a leader on the issues that matter most to the tourism and hospitality industry, as well as the Central Florida community,” the association’s President and CEO Robert Agrusa in a statement.

In Orange County, CFHLA endorsed Sheriff John Mina and recommended Kyle Roger Goudy, Stephanie Vanos and Melissa Mitchell Byrd for the School Board in Districts 4, 6 and 7, respectively.

The organization endorsed Adam Keith McGinnis for Orange County Judgeship, Group 11.

CFHLA is supporting Republicans Bob Dallari and Lee Constantine on the Seminole County Board of Commissioners.

For the Osceola County Commission, CFHLA endorsed Democrats Peggy Choudhry and Brandon Arrington, as well as Republican Ricky Booth.

In addition, the CFHLA endorsed LaShawnda K. Jackson for Judge in the Circuit 9, Group 5.

“CFHLA PAC and PC is extremely excited to support this diverse and effective group of bipartisan candidates throughout the 2024 election cycle,” said Jay Leonard, who chairs the PAC and is a hotel general manager.

“Each of these pro-hospitality candidates understands the importance of the tourism and hospitality industry and the essential role that our industry plays in job creation and driving positive economic impact, which ensures our region flourishes.”

Gabrielle Russon

Gabrielle Russon is an award-winning journalist based in Orlando. She covered the business of theme parks for the Orlando Sentinel. Her previous newspaper stops include the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Toledo Blade, Kalamazoo Gazette and Elkhart Truth as well as an internship covering the nation’s capital for the Chicago Tribune. For fun, she runs marathons. She gets her training from chasing a toddler around. Contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter @GabrielleRusson .


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