Governor Ron DeSantis is a force to be reckoned with. DeSantis took a commanding lead, crushing Charlie Crist by more than 1.5 million votes. In 2018, DeSantis won by just over 32,000 votes after a statewide machine recount. Tuesday’s decisive victory came as more Florida counties turned red than ever before.
“Washington is broken and Florida is in the best fiscal health it's been in the history of the state,” due to DeSantis, Florida’s CFO Jimmy Patronis said Wednesday on Newsmax. “The last week I did seven different rallies with this governor, and I saw an enthusiasm for him that I've never seen before in my 17 years of public service in this state,” said Patronis, who was re-elected as CFO.
Florida’s First Lady Casey DeSantis found out this year that she is cancer-free. Her consistent support of the governor’s agenda has benefitted children, families, and seniors. Through her leadership, Florida became the first state in the nation to reframe and rethink the way mental health is taught in school classrooms. Her work to establish a recovery fund after hurricane Ian brought in more than $45 million in donations.
Governor DeSantis’ re-election campaign team reminded voters that Florida was a free state, where parents can choose to raise their kids and educate them as they see fit. A state where “woke goes to die,” according to the governor. The campaign brought in almost $200 million.
Governor DeSantis’ Chief of Staff James Uthmeier worked closely with the governor to implement his unwavering conservative agenda. “The impact of the governor’s senior team can’t be overlooked. James Uthmeier has provided a master class at managing the official side of the operation,” said Scott Ross, partner at Capital City Consulting.
The Capital City Consulting team co-founder Nick Iarossi and partners Ron LaFace and Scott Ross all ranked high in The Florida Standard’s Top 25 Lobbyists. Scott Ross told The Florida Standard that Governor DeSantis’ election win is historic – not only for the margin of victory but because of the way he won. “The governor has led with conviction and governed exactly as he promised he would – based on strong principles and commitment to the best interests of Floridians,” said Ross.
“Generra Peck ran a campaign that’s going to set the model for statewide campaigns in the future. Heather Barker and Tucker Obenshain put together the best finance operation the country has ever seen,” Ross added.
Attorney General Ashley Moody was re-elected by the largest margin of any statewide candidate on Tuesday’s ballot. Since taking office as attorney general, Moody has led efforts against the unlawful federal vaccine mandates, the lack of border enforcement by federal officials and the harmful actions of Big Tech.
“Thank you to the millions of voters who participated in our state’s open and transparent election process. I am honored to represent all Floridians who believe, as I do, that we deserve to live in a state where we back our men and women in blue and hold accountable those who prey on our most vulnerable, whether through human and drug trafficking, or senior scams and other fraudulent practices,” Moody told The Florida Standard.
Moody’s Campaign Manager Meagan Moser and consultants Tom Piccolo and Marc Reichelderfer contributed to the landslide win. Campaign Communications Manager Christina Johnson and Katie Householder also played pivotal roles.
Jimmy Patronis was re-elected for a second term as Florida’s CFO and State Fire Marshal. Patronis campaigned on his continued efforts to fight insurance fraud and ensure the state’s finances are stable to support economic growth.
“CFO Patronis is one of the nicest and hardest working human beings in politics. His passion for helping others fueled his first term in office – when he passed laws to help give first responders mental health and cancer benefits,” said Melissa Stone from Cavalry Strategies.
“He has also fought tirelessly to make reforms to help reduce the cost of insurance for homeowners; and after Hurricane Ian, he is committed to making even more reforms to reduce the litigation that drives up insurance costs,” said Stone.
Supported by his Campaign Manager Caleb Spencer and Political Director Chase Brannon, Patronis beat his opponent by close to 18 points. Melissa Stone and Sierra Kostick with Cavalry Strategies were key players during his campaign.
Wilton Simpson, former Senate President, took the spot as Florida’s agricultural commissioner, a cabinet position vacated by Democrat Nikki Fried. Bret Prater was Simpson’s campaign manager and Pat Bainter led the team to secure a pivotal victory in the state’s second-largest industry. Erin Isaac led communications aided by Simpson’s longtime reputation as a Florida lawmaker.
Brian Ballard and his team at Ballard Partners are very pleased with Tuesday’s “red wave” in Florida. The lobbying group sees U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan as the next Ways & Means Chair in the Republican House, a powerful committee in the U.S. Congress. “Given Vern’s experience and qualifications on Ways and Means and Governor DeSantis’ red wave in Florida now with 20 Rs, I can’t imagine that Vern wouldn’t be the chairman,” Syl Lukis, Senior Partner at Ballard Partners told The Florida Standard.
Ben Gibson, who represented the Republican Party of Florida and advised the DeSantis re-election campaign on legal matters, was a big part of the GOP success on Tuesday. Gibson, a partner at the law firm Shutts & Bowen, has extensive experience in Florida’s political landscape. He is also chief counsel to the Republican Party of Florida.
The Florida Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee (FRSCC) raised over $46 million to help GOP candidates get elected to Florida’s Senate. The committee, led by Senate President-Designate Kathleen Passidomo, was key in capturing a supermajority in the Florida Senate.
“Tonight, we celebrate the election of 28 new and returning conservative Republican Senators around the state, including historic victories with Corey Simon, Jay Collins and Alexis Calatayud,” said Passidomo.
"These victories are a definitive win for parental rights, fiscal responsibility, access to world-class education opportunities for our students including school choice, protecting our children and the unborn, and ensuring government is never able to strip anyone of the dignity of work or their right to worship,” Passidomo told The Florida Standard.
Paul Renner, incoming Speaker of the Florida House will also have a supermajority this term. Republicans in South Florida, Tampa Bay, and Central Florida turned out to elect more conservatives than ever before. Frank Terraferma, Andres Malave, and Christina Johnson crafted a winning strategy that resonated with voters.
Corcoran Partners supported high-profile candidates including Governor DeSantis, Senator Marco Rubio, Jimmy Patronis, Wilton Simpson, and Ashley Moody. They helped dozens of state senators and representatives win their seats this election cycle.
The Southern Group has built deep relationships with both incoming leaders of Florida’s legislative chambers. “Paul Renner and Kathleen Passidomo pulled off one of the most impressive and decisive wins in Republican history Tuesday night. Both ushered in super-majorities in their respective chambers – a first in more than a decade for both the Florida House and Senate,” David Browning, partner at The Southern Group, told The Florida Standard. “They are both incredibly hard workers, focused on the job at hand and with quite the mandate from the people of Florida for the next two years.”
The Everglades Trust, an organized group committed to protecting the Everglades, endorsed Governor Ron DeSantis. “Tuesday’s resounding victory shows that Floridians care about the Everglades. DeSantis is America’s Everglades Governor, and I look forward to working with his administration to continue the tremendous progress we’ve made advancing the world’s largest ecosystem restoration project,” CEO Anna Upton told The Florida Standard.
Americans for Prosperity Action Florida, a grassroots advocacy organization, celebrated 37 wins by candidates who have committed to helping Floridians through individual success. The group encouraged hundreds of thousands to vote for candidates who will now serve in the Florida Legislature.
Senator Marco Rubio made history as the first Republican Senator in Florida to secure a third term. Rubio beat Democrat Val Demings with a boost from conservative Hispanic voters. “I am more energized and excited about working in the Senate than I’ve been at any other time,” Rubio said in his victory speech. “I believe we’re on the cusp of a new generation of leadership in this Republican party that will restore common sense.”
Republican Congressional Candidates swept all five competitive congressional races. In CD 15, former Republican Secretary of State Laurel Lee defeated former local TV news reader Democrat Alan Cohn. In South Florida’s CDs 27 and 28, incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar (R-Fla.) and U.S. Rep. Carlos Gimenez (R-Fla.) held off state Senator Annette Taddeo (D-Miami) and state Rep. Robert Asencio (D-Miami).
Republican Cory Mills easily beat Democrat Karen Green to win the open seat in CD 7 left vacant by Democrat Rep. Stephanie Murphy. U.S. Rep. Neal Dunn, in CD 2, and U.S. Rep. Al Lawson in CD 5 were both elected to the House in 2016. Redistricting fragmented Democrat Lawson’s former district, merging blue Tallahassee precincts into Dunn’s red Panama City area CD 5.
Josh Cooper was instrumental in assisting multiple campaigns, including newly elected U.S. Rep. Aaron Bean, CFO Patronis, and Attorney General Ashley Moody. His research helped the FRSCC earn a supermajority in the Florida Senate.
James Blair worked to bring victories for U.S. House GOP hopefuls as they worked to flip CD 13 and CD 7 for Anna Paulina Luna and Cory Mills.
Samantha Blair, a longtime strategist for Attorney General Ashley Moody, raised large amounts of money for U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis and Laurel Lee. Blair also supported Luna and several other state-level candidates.
Bascom Communications & Consulting provided critical strategy for Aaron Bean and Laurel Lee. Sarah Bascom, Lyndsey Brzozowski and Kelsey Swithers helped bring key victories for the GOP in the U.S. House.
David Johnson helped support a multitude of federal races including Maria Elvira Salazar, Brian Mast, Carlos Gimenez, Laurel Lee, Scott Franklin, and Neal Dunn. Johnson consulted for the Republican House Campaign Committee and is part of the Paul Renner team.
Palm Beach Republican Mike Caruso picked up a seat in a new district. Peggy Gossett-Seidman flipped a seat in District 91 and two Republicans took two seats on the Palm Beach County Commission – a Democratic stronghold.
Moms for Liberty, the conservative group representing everyday Florida families, endorsed winning candidates all across the state. Conservative school board members were elected with a focus on parental rights in education, reforming school board policies, and protecting children.
Florida Realtors® endorsed seven candidates that will now serve in the Florida House. Five others, including incoming Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, will serve in the Florida Senate. The organization gives insight into policy on affordable housing and helping Floridians achieve homeownership.
The Florida Chamber of Commerce backed 40 candidates in August, and 37 won the primary. President and CEO Mark Wilson wants the Sunshine State to become one of the world’s top 10 economies by 2030.
Charlie Crist was down in the polls and nearly out of campaign money in late September. He sent fundraising messages to hurricane Ian victims asking for money. Ultimately, his campaign did not persuade voters to replace the incumbent governor.
Nikki Fried vacated the cabinet position she referred to as “Florida’s only statewide elected Democrat” to run for governor. Fried failed to focus on issues that mattered most to voters and lost in the primary.
Karla Hernández Mats quickly dropped the “Mats” surname in an attempt to appeal to the Hispanic community. The move backfired and her inexperience didn’t bring any value to Charlie Crist’s campaign strategy.
Manny Diaz who leads the Florida Democratic Party failed to bring the necessary leadership to make any difference with voters. Miami-Dade County, a well-known stronghold for Democrats, voted for both DeSantis and multiple Republican state and federal congressional candidates.
The Florida Education Association contributed $500,000 of their members' hard-earned money to the Crist campaign. Members were never notified that a donation was being made to Crist.
Friends of the Everglades and Votewater.org, a liberal environmental group previously known as Bullsugar, endorsed several Democratic Florida senate candidates. Every one of them lost on Tuesday.
The Orlando Sentinel and the Sun Sentinel in South Florida broke from tradition and would not endorse candidates for governor or U.S. Senate. The Tampa Bay Times and the Miami Herald both endorsed Charlie Crist and Val Demings.
Disney told supporters that it would work tirelessly to help repeal the Parental Rights in Education bill. The California-based company will face a Republican supermajority and a governor that will not back down in the fight against their “woke” agenda.
Andrew Warren, the Hillsborough County prosecutor that was removed from office continues to fight to get his job back. He insists that Hillsborough County elected him twice and voters were in favor of his position on reforming the way crimes are prosecuted. However, DeSantis and other conservatives flipped Hillsborough County red on Tuesday.