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Observations and musings on Jacksonville Politics

Titanic Battle for North Florida Senate Seat

The race to succeed Jim King (R-Jacksonville) will take a dramatic turn when John Thrasher jumps into the race in the coming weeks.  Thrasher, who has announced that Friday will be his last day as a lobbyist, transformed himself into one of the most powerful lobbyists in the state after leaving the Speaker’s Chair in the Florida House of Representatives.  He has already demonstrated his intent to join the race by putting his upscale Orange Park home on the market in order to move into the district.  Yesterday, he told the St. Pete Times that he was even okay with leaving the money behind.

Thrasher’s Republican opponents aren’t exactly backing down.  City Councilman Art Graham, former State Rep. Aaron Bean and businessman Dan Quiggle have all been hard at work raising money for the race.  In fact, Bean has been successful at securing the support of lobbyists throughout the state.  Whether or not Thrasher’s entry into the race will change that remains to be seen.

It will be a barnburner of a race, that’s for sure.  Most likely the most expensive State Senate race in the state.

Stay tuned…

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Filed under: Florida, Florida Legislature, Florida Politics, , , , ,

1st Quarter Fundraising At A Glance

On 3 Public Relations is out with a synopsis of the funds raised to date for Florida races.  A few quick highlights:

  • CFO Alex Sink (D) has raised over $1.1 million for her re-election race, which could be quickly switched to the Gubernatorial race if she should so desire.
  • Charlie Crist (R) has raised not a single dollar for his re-election bid.  (Don’t let that fool you, Charlie is a rather prolific fundraiser once he kicks it into gear—and makes up his mind in regards to which race he’s in.)
  • Rep. Adam Putnam (R) leads in the fundraising for Secretary of Agriculture by a significant margin.
  • There has been a stunning $388,520 raised already for the Senate seat that Jim King (R) will vacate.  Aaron Bean still leads the pack with $220,441 raised, but Art Graham ($91,050) and Dan Quiggle ($77,029) aren’t far behind.  Of course, John Thrasher has yet to raise any funds, leaving an observer to wonder just how expensive this North Florida Senate seat can get.  (Funny that the economy doesn’t seem to be affecting political fundraising—at least in North Florida.)

View the full report here.

Filed under: Florida, Florida Legislature, Florida Politics, , , , , , , ,

John Thrasher Will Run For Senate

You may recall that we first discussed this here well over a month ago, but today John Thrasher seemed to have cast any doubt aside—he will run for the State Senate seat being vacated by Jim King.

Former House Speaker-turned lobbyist John Thrasher will run for term-limited Sen. Jim King’s seat, Thrasher confirmed.

The Jacksonville Republican has not officially entered the race but said he will almost certainly jump in after the legislative session ends in May.

Thrasher, who served as speaker from 1998-2000, is a high-powered lobbyist for the Southern Strategy Group, whose clients include Disney World, Associated Industries and the Florida Hospital Association.

Thrasher will join previously announced candidates former Rep. Aaron Bean (R-Fernandina Beach), Jacksonville City Councilman Art Graham (R-Jacksonville Beach) and local Republican Businessman Dan Quiggle.

Filed under: Florida, Florida Legislature, Florida Politics, , , , , ,

Thrasher entering Senate Race?

The Republican primary for Jim King’s State Senate seat is starting to get crowded.  We’ve already written about City Councilman Art Graham and former State Representative Aaron Bean and their fundraising efforts, but they’ve got company.  No sooner did Dan Quiggle jump into the race, than the man who can out-fundraise them all said he’s interested.

“If I had to say if I was going to do it today, I’d probably do it,” [John] Thrasher said Friday. A final decision won’t come until after the session, but he said: “I think it’s something I’m ready to do again. His wife Jean has “given me the green light,” he said. “I would love to get back in the process.

Filed under: Florida, Florida Legislature, Florida Politics, , , , , ,

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