March 31, 2022 Updated 8:10 A.M. ET
TALLAHASSEE (FCV) – Republican Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis is facing Democrat opposition in the November 8, 2022 Election where he is seeking re-election.
On the generic ballot, Republicans lead by an average of 3.6%. Democrats expect to lose big in the midterms. Democrat President Joe Biden is also facing consistently new lows of approval rating across the country. Patronis and other Republicans have the edge this November.
In the 2018 Election, Patronis won his Cabinet position with 51.7% of the vote (4,152,221) to Democrat Jeremy Ring’s 48.3% (3,872,540).
He also served on the Public Service Commission when he was appointed to the CFO position by Republican Governor Rick Scott in 2017. Scott appointed Patronis after former CFO Jett Atwater resigned. After being appointed, Patronis went on to win his own term in 2018 that is up for renewal this election.
Thus far, three Democrats have filed with the state to run for CFO and participate in Florida’s Democrat Primary on August 23, 2022: former State Representative Adam Hattersley, Tyrone Noel Javellana, and Karla C. Jones. Hattersley is the only publicly prominent Democrat in the race.
According to the Florida Department of State, Patronis is the only candidate who has raised any money this election cycle.
Patronis has raised ~$90,000 since the start of 2022 as an individual candidate, while his political committee, Treasure Florida, has raised ~$325,000 since the new year. The committee has around $3 million on hand, and Patronis has around $500,000 on hand. In total, Patronis raised $415,000 in 2022.
In comparison, Hattersley, Javellana, and Jones have raised no money, according to the Department of State.
Patronis not only has a funding advantage, but has received the endorsement of former President Donald Trump, many members of the Florida State Legislature, and the Republican Party of Florida.
“Jimmy is a defender of the 2nd Amendment, strongly supports our First Responders and our Greats Vets and works to keep Florida’s Economy strong,” Trump said.
“Jimmy Patronis is a committed conservative and a great family man and I give him my Complete and Total Endorsement!,” he went on. “Jimmy Patronis, Chief Financial Officer for the Great State of Florida, has done a great job as CFO, where he also serves as the State’s Fire Marshall and as an important member of the Florida Cabinet.”
The current CFO has earned the endorsement of Florida House of Representatives Speaker Chris Sprowls, and other legislators like Jason Fischer, Ralph Massullo, Randy Fine, Joe Harding, Spencer Roach, and John Snyder.
The Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) also endorsed Patronis, saying that he is a “constant advocate for Florida job creation.”
The AIF noted a prime accomplishment of Patronis during his time as CFO – fighting to reopen businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“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,” they said.
He is native to Florida and was born in Panama City. Patronis earned an associate degree in restaurant management from Gulf Coast Community College and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Florida State University.
From 2006 to 2014, Patronis served in the Florida House and was appointed to the Constitution Revision Commission, which meets every 20 years to propose constitutional changes.
Florida’s CFO also serves as the state’s Fire Marshall. Patronis worked with the Florida legislature to allow volunteer firefighters who were enrolled in fire school to continue service in their communities. Before the law was changed, they would have not been allowed to work on volunteer teams until they finished schooling.
Patronis helped those negatively impacted after a building in Surfside, Florida collapsed.
Patronis put strong effort into supporting small businesses in Florida. Coming from a restaurant background, Patronis made his top priority during the 2021 Legislative Session to pass COVID liability protections. He hosted “Rally at the Restaurant” events to promote the idea.
After being appointed into the CFO position, Patronis went on to win his own term in 2018 that is up for renewal this election.
When legislation was being floated among Florida legislators that was going to raise auto insurance rates, Patronis was a key opponent, calling out the negative ramifications on drivers: hiked premiums of around 50%. The bill – S.B. 150 – ultimately died in the Judiciary Committee.
On the Biden Administration, the CFO fought back against its proposal to allow the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to enact a “power grab” by spying on American bank accounts that contain transactions above $600. After heavy pushback, the Biden Administration folded to Patronis and other opponents of the proposal.
According to Adam Hattersley’s campaign website, the Democrat candidate for CFO is a veteran of the U.S. Navy and wants to “put politics aside.” He spent “more than a decade” as a registered independent.
In the Florida House, Hattersley says that he was committed to “lowering health care costs.”
In Hattersley’s campaign video, the narrator repeatedly asked, “#WheresJimmy?,” claiming that Patronis has done little to nothing to improve the economic state of Floridians.
Taking a quick 180, a scroll through Hattersley’s Twitter shows no reluctance to delving into politics, contrary to the campaign’s “put politics aside” line.
“#QAnonJimmy either doesn,t care, or somehow benefits from this chaos,” he said on property insurance rates on March 29, 2022.
On March 27, he said that the Republican Party “now steals from the poor to give to the rich.”
In response to DeSantis’ efforts to sue the Biden Administration over a nationwide federal contractor vaccine mandate, Hattersley said, “Stop doing outlandish things trying to get #PoliticalAirtime.”
On the legislature banning mask mandates and vaccine requirements across the state, he criticized Florida Republicans, saying that “FL does NOT need this.”
He also retweeted a Florida House Democrats Tweet saying “#LetKidsPlay,” referring to Florida’s transgender school athletes ban which only allows biological men to compete against men, and biological women to compete against women.
There are no polls for the CFO race in 2022. As the field stands, Patronis has the financial and political edge over Hattersley and the other low-profile registered candidates.
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