Sifting through Associated Industries endorsements

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Last week, Associated Industries revealed its first round of endorsements in state legislative races.  For the most part, the powerful business lobby threw its support behind incumbents running in relatively easy races, while avoiding decision in most high-profile contests, such as those in Central Florida.

 However, there were a few “intriguing” decisions, as Travis Pillow of the Florida Current noted.

Most interesting was AIF’s decision to support Mike Weinstein over Aaron Bean in SD 4. Certainly, there is a lot of three-dimensional chess involved in this decision, including how it relates to the race for the Senate Presidency in 2016, but sources at AIF say the decision to support Weinstein came down to the fact that Weinstein has been better on AIF’s issues than Bean.

AIF also endorsed in two competitive Democratic primaries, supporting Mack Bernard over Jeff Clemens in SD 27 and Ron Saunders over several other Democratic candidates in SD 39.

As for House races, AIF decided to support:

Republican Mike Davis over GOP incumbent Rep. Ronald Renuart in HD 17;

Rep. Steve Perman over former Rep. Kevin Rader in the Democratic primary for HD 81;

Manny Diaz Jr. over Renier Diaz de la Portilla in the GOP primary for HD 103;

 Rep. John Patrick Julien over Rep. Barbara Watson in the Democratic primary for  HD 107.

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.