It’s that time within the Legislative calendar where the incoming freshman class looks like it will expand its membership with the addition of a few red-shirt freshmen as result of resignations and special elections.

The first, Ryan Chamberlin, HD 24, was elected in May of this year.  Former House member, Joe Harding, resigned the seat in December after being indicted for wire fraud, money laundering and making false statements concerning COVID-19 relief funding. He has pleaded guilty and will be sentenced in July. The primary held on March 6, was a five way primary, with Chamberlin carrying 36% of the vote.  In May he beat a write-in candidate, Robert “Foxy” Fox with over 70% of the vote.

Following the end of the regular session two more House members have resigned from the House, Juan Fernandez Barquin (118) and Fred Hawkins (HD 35).  Fernandez Barquinwas appointed by Governor DeSantis to the position of clerk for Miami-Dade County. The appointment of Fernandez-Barquincomes five months after the death of Miami-Dade’s longtime Democratic clerk, Harvey Ruvin.

The date has not yet been set for this election, but there is already a three-way primary heating up. Three Republicans have opened campaign accounts with incoming House Speaker Daniel Perez, R-Miami, throwing his support to Michael Redondo. 

Most recently, House Republican Fred Hawkins was tapped to be the next President of South Florida State College.  With this appointment, he plans to vacate his seat by June 30, which will lead to another special election.  Unlike the other 2 seats, this Osceola district is a swing seat, with a slight Democratic lean, making this election a top priority for the Minority Leader.

FRVTA was an early supporter of Chamberlin and he looks forward to working within us in the future. These special elections are critical as the early members become the leaders within their class.  With your support of the FRVTA PAC we continue to build relationships with crucial members who become our industry champions.  We thank you for your continued support.