Political Insiders Look to the Florida Chamber Political Institute
“The political institute is to politics what a telescope is to an astronomer- it is a tool to help us provide in-depth, non-partisan research and analysis so that we can find the best candidates to help the business community.”
When it comes to securing Florida’s future, the stakes couldn’t be higher. Fighting for free enterprise and focusing on policies that support jobs and strong families is the Florida Chamber’s mission. Beyond the legislative battles in Tallahassee or Washington, pro-jobs policies need champions, and that is why we engage in elections.
Our engagement efforts begin by electing pro-biz, pro-jobs candidates chosen by the Florida Chamber Political Institute’s (FCPI) rigorous candidate interview sessions — one of Florida’s most thorough and well-respected pro-business candidate review processes.
But why exactly are candidate interviews so important to Florida’s legislative process?
“It’s really all about the dialogue,” said Bjorklund. “When we get in the interview process, we are able to talk with these candidates and find out what their plans are to change Florida and how they are going to help Florida and we give them the opportunity to show us how business can play a role in that.”
And to FCPI Chair Bjorklund, being a member of FCPI is all about being informed.
“To me, it’s all about access and it’s all about information,” said Bjorklund. “As a member of the Political Institute, you have access to these candidates, which you otherwise may not be able to go see. This year is going to be a very, very populated election season…trying to manage logistically meeting these people and finding out who are going to be the best ones to serves Florida, just simply is impossible. Through the institute, we allow folks the chance to meet these folks and find the ones that are best suited to serve in office.”
Florida Chamber Endorses Pro-Jobs, Pro-Business Candidates For Governor, Cabinet and Legislative Primary Races
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Edie Ousley, 850-521-1231
Endorsed Candidates Will Help Create Opportunities
for Families and Small Business
TALLAHASSEE, FL. (July 22, 2014) – Following a comprehensive and deliberative candidate selection process, the Florida Chamber of Commerce today announces candidate endorsements for Governor and Cabinet positions as well as legislative primary races. The endorsements result from one of Florida’s most thorough and well-respected pro-business, pro-jobs candidate review processes.
“Good government can only be obtained by electing candidates who understand Florida’s future needs and who are not afraid to make bold decisions that will get us there,” said Marian Johnson, Senior Vice President of Political Operations for the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “Interviewing the candidates and finding where they stand on those issues is an absolute necessity before you can make an informed decision about whom to support. Our interview process is thorough and intense, and allows us to understand a candidate’s position before we make an endorsement.”
The Florida Chamber Political Institute (FCPI) held five candidate interview sessions across the state and interviewed more than 100 non-incumbent candidates – in addition to reviewing each candidate’s completed questionnaire. Incumbent candidates were evaluated on numerous factors, including legislator grades on the Florida Chamber’s Legislative Report Card.
“To create a stable and predictable business climate that helps to create private-sector jobs and grow our state’s economy, we need a legislature that focuses on free enterprise principles and solutions,” said David Hart, Executive Vice President of the Florida Chamber. “We are pleased to support these pro-jobs, pro-business candidates and look forward to mobilizing our employer members and local chamber of commerce partners as well as their more than three million employees with far-reaching grassroots advocacy efforts.”
Below is list of Florida Chamber candidate endorsements for Governor and Cabinet positions as well as legislative primary races.
- Rick Scott
- Attorney General – Pam Bondi
- Commissioner of Agriculture – Adam Putnam
- Chief Financial Officer – Jeff Atwater
SENATE – Primary Election Endorsements:
- John Thrasher (R) – SD 06
- Thad Altman (R) – SD 16
- Jack Latvala (R) – SD 20
- Lizbeth Benacquisto (R) – SD – 30
- Joe Negron (R) – SD 32
- Oscar Braynon (D) – SD – 36
HOUSE – Primary Election Endorsements:
- Doug Broxson (R) – HD 03
- Brad Drake (R) – HD 05
- Jay Trumbull (R) – HD 06
- Jason Brodeur (R) – HD 28
- Robert Cortes (R) – HD 30
- Terri Seefeldt (R) – HD 31
- Colleen Burton (R) – HD 40
- Ricardo Rangel (D) – HD 43
- Eric Eisnaugle (R) – HD 44
- Rene Plasencia (R) – HD 49
- Tom Goodson (R) – HD 50
- Ed Narain (D) – HD 61
- James Grant (R) – HD 64
- Chris Sprowls (R) – HD 65
- Chris Latvala (R) – HD 67
- Bill Young (R) – HD 68
- Julio Gonzalez (R) – HD 74
- Dane Eagle (R) – HD 77
- Matt Caldwell (R) – HD 79
- Kevin Rader (D) – HD 81
- Ben Sorensen (D) – HD 100
- Michael Joseph (D) – HD 107
- Bryan Avila (R) – HD 111
The Florida Chamber will announce additional endorsements in the coming days.
Established in 1916 as Florida’s first statewide business advocacy organization, the Florida Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business and the state’s largest federation of employers, chambers of commerce and associations, aggressively representing small and large businesses from every industry and every region. The Florida Chamber works within all branches of government to affect those changes set forth in the annual Florida Business Agenda, and which are seen as critical to secure Florida’s future. The Florida Chamber works closely with its Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FloridaChamber.com for more information.