To outline his future political plans, Senate Appropriations Chair Jack Latvala added two more stops to his Aug. 16 announcement – turning what was to be a single event into something of a tour.
Last week, the Pinellas County Republican said he would publicly announce whether he will enter the race for governor with a news conference at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. While that stop is still on the docket, attendees at the event will not be the first to hear of Latvala’s plans.
Preceding the 1 p.m. Aquarium appearance is a 9 a.m. announcement outside Fire Station 7 on 24th Avenue in Hialeah. Then, at 5 p.m. Panama City time (6 p.m. Eastern), Latvala is hosting another event at the Sun Harbor Arena.
“As a small-business owner and public servant, I have a track record of getting things done and solving problems,” Latvala said. “One thing you can always expect from me too is when I give you my word, I will keep it.”
“And on Wednesday, I give you my word, you will know what my future plans entail.”
As for which other public officials will be at each event, Latvala said more details will be released in the coming days.
A three-stop tour — covering more than 600 miles by car — would normally be quite an unusual production, particularly if the longtime lawmaker does not announce a bid for governor.
And if he declares another statewide seat, it would come as a shock to many.
Another clear signal of a gubernatorial run came Wednesday when FloridaPolitics.com reported that Latvala’s “Florida Leadership Committee” retained prominent GOP ad maker Fred Davis.
Currently, the only major Republican running for governor is Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam. Between his campaign account and fundraising committee “Florida Grown,” Putnam finished July with a little under $12 million on hand.
Comparatively, Latvala’s “Florida Leadership Committee,” has about $3.85 million on hand for the same period. But since he is not (yet) running for office in 2018, Latvala has no on-hand campaign funds.