May 5, 2009
Former Speaker John Thrasher (R) will soon officially announce his bid for Florida Senate, District 8. The seat is currently held by President Jim King (R), who is term limited in 2010. However, this seat may come up earlier than November 2010, as President King is in the running to be Florida’s next university system Chancellor.
Thrasher has been a great friend and adamant supporter of Florida’s businesses in and out of public office. Thrasher is revered as one of history’s most beloved and respected Speakers, serving as Speaker of the House from 1998-2000. During his tenure as Speaker he led the effort for tort reform in the Florida House. He holds an impressive AIF historical voting record of 91%.
In 2001, Speaker Thrasher joined the Southern Strategy Group and has since become one of the state’s most high-profile and powerful lobbyists. In this position, he has represented many of Florida’s distinguished businesses, and was a member of AIF’s lobbying team advocating for AIF’s issues on a daily basis. In 2005-06 he led AIF’s effort on tort reform, in which ultimately nine tort bills passed during the legislative session, an incredible feat for Florida’s business community.
AIF and the business community have come to rely on Thrasher for his policy expertise and political acumen. If elected, he will be a strong advocate for Florida business in the Florida Senate and will most certainly rise quickly to a leadership position. This race will be a priority of AIF in the upcoming election cycle, or as a special election race, if Senator King is chosen as Chancellor. AIF would encourage our members to support Speaker Thrasher in his bid for the Florida Senate.
District 8 is a “Strong Republican” seat and represents portions of Duval, Flagler, Nassau, St. Johns and Volusia Counties. Former Representative Aaron Bean (R), who was term limited in 2008 has already filed for this senate seat, along with Jacksonville City Councilman Art Graham (R) and businessman Dan Quiggle (R).