The half-decade long race to determine who will serve as President of the Florida Senate from 2016 to 2018 — either Jack Latvala or Joe Negron — has taken on all the difficulty of a Chinese finger puzzle after a series of recent developments designed to solve the matter have only made the issue more complicated.
Most notably of these developments is the official signing-on of now ten current members of the Florida Senate to Negron’s political committee, the Treasure Coast Alliance according to registration paperwork filed with the Senate Rules Committee. Four Senators filed their paperwork on Wednesday, most notably Sen. Wilton Simpson, whose district is adjacent to Latvala’s. Also publicly throwing in with Negron is the recently elected Travis Hutson, as well as former Senate President Don Gaetz (absolutely no surprise there) and Rob Bradley.
For more than five months, Negron has contended that he, indeed, has enough votes to become Senate President. Negron told Matt Dixon of the Naples Daily News in January that “… I have a majority of support.“
In response to this, Latvala at the time “I’ll kiss his feet on the Capitol steps if he can show me he has more than 12 pledge cards from current members of the Senate.”
Since that time, Florida Politics has learned that Negron is now backed by as many as 13 to 14 current members of the Florida Senate — himself, the 10 who have signed on to his committee, and up to three swing votes, including Thad Altman and Garrett Richter.