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NFIB Backs Only Republicans for Florida Senate Seats

Sunshine State News - July 26, 2012

On Thursday, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) used its political action committee to back Republican candidates who are running for seats in the Florida Senate. The group did not endorse any Democrats.

“An endorsement from NFIB represents these candidates’ commitment to ensuring that Florida maintains its pro-small business climate,” said Bill Herrle who leads the NFIB in Florida “We’re confident that these candidates will fight for legislation that creates jobs and improves the economy, and we look forward to working with them to help our state’s small businesses.”

The NFIB waded into some of the more hotly contested Republican primaries for open seats in the state Senate. Rep. Mike Weinstein, R-Jacksonville, won the NFIB’s backing over former Rep. Aaron Bean to represent parts of the First Coast in the Senate. The group also backed Rep. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, over Rep. Jim Frische, R-St. Petersburg, in another closely watched Republican primary for an open Senate seat.

The NFIB also endorsed a host of Republican incumbents, including incoming Senate President Don Gaetz of Niceville and Majority Leader Andy Gardiner of Orlando, and backed other Republicans in the state Senate including: Lizbeth Benacquisto of Wellington, Charlie Dean of Inverness, Nancy Detert of Venice, Miguel Diaz de la Portilla of Miami, Greg Evers of Baker, Anitere Flores of Miami, Rene Garcia of Hialeah, Alan Hays of Umatilla, Jack Latvala of St. Petersburg, Joe Negron of Stuart, Garret Richter of Naples, David Simmons of Altamonte Springs and John Thrasher of St. Augustine.

The NFIB endorsed Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale, for renomination over the Democrat in the race, Sen. Maria Sachs of Delray. In two other general election match-ups that will be closely watched, the NFIB backs Republican hopeful Will McBride over Rep. Darren Soto, D-Orlando, and Rep. Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange over Frank Bruno, the Democrat in the race who served on the Volusia County Commission. The NFIB also supports Republicans Clay County Commissioner Rob Bradley, former Rep. Bill Galvano, Rep. Denise Grimsley, R-Sebring, and businessman Wilton Simpson in their bids for open Senate seats.

© 2011 Sunshine State News.