Mel Sembler, other Tampa Bay Republicans hosting major fundraiser for Jack Latvala committee

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

No one expects GOP state Senator to go quietly into the night once his time in the Legislature comes to an end in 2018. And a fundraiser planned for February 2 and hosted by several prominent Tampa Bay Republicans will help make sure he has the resources to do whatever he wants to do next.

Ambassador Mel Sembler, former Speaker Will Weatherford, Bill Edwards, Jim MacDougald and former RNC host committee chairman Ken Jones are among the names raising money for Latvala’s political committee, the Florida Leadership Committee, at an event slated for the Sembler Center in St. Petersburg.

Latvala is entering his final two years as a member of the Florida Senate, where he serves as the all-important chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee. It’s increasingly speculated that Latvala will seek higher office, perhaps Governor or Chief Financial Officer.

Because he’s raising money for his committee, Latvala can accept checks of any amount. Co-chairs for this event have been tasked with raising $5,000, while members of the host committee, such as prominent Donald Trump supporter Rhonda Shear Fagan and Southern Strategy Group lobbyist Seth McKeel, are expected to raise $2,500.

At those rates, Latvala should easily add another $50,000 to a warchest that already stands north of $2 million.

The February 2 event begins at 5:30 p.m. To RSVP, please contact


Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.