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Wilton Simpson for Florida CFO?

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Is Wilton Simpson for Florida CFO a byproduct of this fall’s Senate map redraw?

After the news that the Senate maps must be redrawn to comply with the Florida Constitution, many political futures have been put into flux. The Jack Latvala vs. Joe Negron Senate president’s race and the future of Pinellas lines are tops among the whispers of political observers until the October session unveils the final maps.

But now there is also increasing chatter that Wilton Simpson, himself a name often mentioned for a future Senate president’s slot, is being encouraged to direct his focus toward a 2018 run for chief financial officer.

Under the current district maps and numbering system, Simpson could serve in the Senate until 2022 and, as reported here and in POLITICO, Simpson is way ahead in getting pledges for a 2021-2022 presidency.

The uncertainty of what may come out of October’s redistricting effort though has led a number of top Florida donors to approach  Simpson about a statewide race, and most interest is directed to the 2018 election for CFO after Jeff Atwater leaves office because of term limits.

Simpson, the Senate’s second wealthiest member, is said to have signaled a willingness to spend as much as $3 million of his own money toward a statewide run. He is also a big donor and bundler for Jeb Bush and recently joined a “who’s who” of Floridians at the Bush family compound in Kennebunkport, Maine. That gathering is where serious discussion about a CFO bid began — and the talk has only grown now that Senate maps are in question.

More proof that the redistricting lawsuits continue to have dominos falling all over the state.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, 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.

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