In another sign this election season could decide the fate of the 2016 Senate presidency fight, Sen. John Thasher today withdrew his bid to be the Republican's choice for the top job and endorsed Sen. Joe Negron.
The decision ends the three-way fight that had included Thrasher, Negron and Sen. Jack Latvala of St. Petersburg. It was reported first by Matt Dixon of the Florida Times-Union and Peter Schorsch, who works for Latvala. Thrasher had initially challenged Sen. Andy Gardiner for the 2014 presidency earlier this year, when he and Negron believed Gardiner didn't have the votes. Then, when Latvala coalesced senators to revive Gardiner's presidency, Thrasher withdrew but, as we reported then, vowed to return in 2016.
Now, the question remains whether Thrasher's supporters, many of whom are candidates for open Senate seats, will win and if they win will they shift their endorsement to Negron.
"This election cycle will be very important to both candidates,'' Negron said Friday, speaking from Washington, D.C. where he is working on Medicaid, education and other Senate budget-related issues on behalf of Senate President Mike Haridopolos.
“The leadership race isn’t really aobut any particular individual. It’s about creating a platform where every senator can have his or her ideas considered and fully heard,'' Negron said. "It's about having a pro growth pro business agenda for Florida in the state Senate. I’m very pleased to have speaker Thrasher’s support."