Florida Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, is declaring he has secured enough votes to become the Senate president in 2016 even though there is major uncertainty over who will even be in the Senate.
Negron put out a list of 13 senators who have pledge their support to him, even though some of those members are certain not be in the Senate in 2016 because of term limits. And others could lose their seats due to a special session on redistricting that is set to begin on October.
Still Negron was unequivocal in his declaration that he has more votes than Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, who has been his main rival for the position.
“I am also gratified that the overwhelming majority of announced candidates in the 2016 open Senate seats have already formally pledged their support to me and our team,” Negron said. “It is clear that the Caucus is ready to formally designate its next Senate President.”
Latvala called Negron's statement a ploy designed to pressure Senate President Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, into calling a caucus of all 26 Republican senators to make Negron the next president. Latvala said Negron is "losing momentum" because three senators pledged to him cannot run again, and that those open seats could alter the competition for president.
"I think he's trying to gain a semblance of momentum," Latvala said. "Most people believe that if the maps are fairly drawn, that I do a whole lot better."