Hutson eyes chances of Senate presidency

St. Johns County Republican Senator Travis Hutson wants to be Senate president, but he’s got to beat Sen. Kathleen Passidomo to do it.  The Hutson-Passidomo contest has lacked much in the way of public pyrotechnics, but not in the way of fundraising.

According to an article today by A.G. Gancarski that appeared in Florida Politics, Hutson pulled off some “buzzer-beating” committee fundraising on the eve of Session last month, raising over $155,000 between his two political committees on March 4th.

“I think it is a very tight race between the two of us. I think at the end of the day, we will work this out,” Hutson said last month in what he described as a “cordial” race against Passidomo.  “We are going to figure this out over a nice cordial dinner. I couldn’t ask for anybody better as a friend and adversary at this time.”

Hutson is the chair of the Senate’s Transportation and Economic Development Appropriations Committee.  Gancarski likens that to one of the best legislative platforms from which to raise money.

Florida Trend’s Jason Garcia notes that the transportation and economic development portion of the Florida Senate’s budget includes $1.45 million to pay for infrastructure that helps the “AVE Aviation & Commerce Center”, a mixed-use business park planned at Opa-Locka Airport in Miami-Dade.

The day before Session began, the developer of that business park, CPF Investment Group, gave $20,000 to a political committee controlled by Sen. Travis Hutson.  Gancarski points out that Hutson oversees the Senate’s transportation and economic development budget.

  • Hutson’s Sunshine State Conservatives committee raised nearly $135,000, giving it roughly $380,000 on hand.  The remainder was brought in via his First Coast Business Foundation, which raised $440,000 in February, and now has well over $450,000 on hand.
  • Passidomo’s Working Together for Florida political committee raised no money ahead of the Legislative Session, but she did demonstrate her fundraising chops in February, bringing in over $335,000.

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