Associated Industries wades into several competitive legislative primaries

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As an organization, Associated Industries has never been known for avoiding a ol’ fashioned dust-up. On Friday, AIF lived up to its reputation, issuing endorsements in nine State Senate races, including several competitive primaries.

AIF is endorsing former Senate President Tom Lee over Rep. Rachel Burgin in Senate District 24, just as that race is becoming increasingly personal and ugly.  The organization is also backing Victoria Siplin in the Democratic primary for an open seat in Central Florida over Rep. Geri Thompson.

It’s no surprise that AIF is also backing Republican Ellyn Bogdanoff over Democrat Maria Sachs or Republican Dorothy Hukill over Democrat Frank Bruno in competitive general election races.

Three incumbents seeking re-election — Thad Altman, Jeremy Ring, and David Simmons — also received AIF’s endorsement.

“AIF’s vision for the future of Florida requires leaders who are committed to fostering the business-friendly climate necessary for job growth and a return to economic prosperity,” said Tom Feeney, the president and CEO of AIF. “The Senate candidates endorsed today have clearly demonstrated their support for Florida’s employers and recognize the critical role business plays in the vitality of the state. We look forward to working with them in the Florida Legislature.”

The organization says it plans to release additional endorsements for Florida legislative candidates at a later date.  Associated Industries noticeably did not make a decision in the GOP primary between Jeff Brandes and Jim Frishe.

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.