While he may have finally drawn an opponent, state CFO Jimmy Patronis continues to gain momentum as he runs for a second full term in statewide office.
After eight years in the Florida House and serving on the state Public Service Commission (PSC), Patronis was named to his current post in the summer of 2017 by then Gov. Rick Scott after Jeff Atwater resigned the position to take a job at Florida Atlantic University (FAU). Back in November 2018, Patronis beat former state Sen. Jeremy Ring to win a term in his own right.
Patronis is up for reelection in 2022 but he is not exactly drawing much in the way of opposition. Last week, frequent candidate Richard Paul Dembinsky filed to run against Patronis with no party affiliation. Dembinsky has run with no party affiliation or as a write-in candidate for numerous offices in recent years. The closest he ever came was when he ran for state Senate when the Democrats did not put any opposition to Republicans Evelyn Lynn in 2008 and Dorothy Hukill in 2016. Lynn pulled 73.5 percent while Dembinsky got 26.5 percent. He did better against Hukill, pulling 32 percent while she won with 68 percent. Still, Patronis might not see a major candidate on the Democratic line. Democrats with ambitions for statewide office could run for state agriculture commissioner as current incumbent Nikki Fried is running for governor.
In the meantime, now that he has an opponent, Patronis reeled in an endorsement from one of the leading business groups in the Sunshine State this week. The Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) threw its support behind Patronis, endorsing him on Wednesday.
“AIF is proud to endorse our friend and constant advocate for Florida job creation – Jimmy Patronis,” said AIF President and CEO Brewster Bevis. “CFO Patronis fought to quickly reopen our state for business after the COVID-19 shutdown and safely bring back workers, no doubt saving jobs and helping businesses stay afloat. He was also the first statewide elected official to support putting covid liability protections into state law to protect businesses from unscrupulous trial lawyers trying to take advantage of the pandemic for their own profit.
“Throughout his time in office, CFO Patronis has also taken action to lower workers’ compensation insurance rates for businesses, worked to prevent fraud that drives up homeowners’ insurance rates, and been a tireless advocate for our state’s first responders,” added Bevis. “He is a proven leader who fights for Florida families and the best candidate to continue serving as Florida’s CFO.”
“AIF is unparalleled in their support for Florida businesses,” said Patronis. “During my time in public service, I was honored to receive three awards from AIF as their ‘Champion for Business’ and they have been one of the most committed partners to creating Florida jobs that I have ever worked with. I am pleased to receive their endorsement and look forward to working with them for another four years.”
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