Florida Senate District-1 Race: Doug Broxson
In the first installment of our look at the race for District-1 in the Florida Senate, here’s State Rep. Doug Broxson, who faces Rep. Mike Hill in the August 30 Republican primary.
Broxson, a 67-year-old insurance executive, is in his second term in the Florida House. First elected in 2010 from District-1, redistricting landed him in House-3, where he was re-elected in 2014. His desire to move across the Statehouse Rotunda to the Senate is rooted in a domino effect, which began when Congressman Jeff Miller announced his retirement earlier this year.
“It’s just timing,” Broxson said. “When Greg Evers chose to run for the Congress and vacated this [state senator] seat, I believe in the process of the legislature, [I’m] one of the older members, so I think I have the life experience to share with my other members.”
Broxson’s main issues echoe those of Governor Rick Scott: job creation and industry recruiting. He also wants to make sure that money from BP’s settlement of the 2010 oil spill goes to its intended destinations.
“The $400 million we’ll receive this year will go directly into the General Fund; we never envisioned that,” Broxson said. “And what goes into the General Fund never comes out like you thought it would. Seventy-five percent of that money is [the affected counties’]; we deserve to get it.”
Broxson enjoys a more than two-to-one edge in fundraising, almost $304,000 in the last reporting period, compared to Mike Hill’s $122,000. Both have loaned themselves $50,000.
“Seventy percent [of donations], or close to it, has come from people that I’ve known, that live here in the area,” said Broxson. “That believe in me and seen me over the last 40 years of my business career, and now have seen me in in five and a half years of my elected career.”
Doug Broxson and Mike Hill were friends long before they became primary opponents, even attending the same church: Brownsville Assembly of God. But a recent ad from the Hill camp, accusing Broxson of being “the liberal in the race,” has left Broxson, in his words, “Pearl Harbored.”
“To call me a liberal, when I have such a conservative record,” Broxson laughed. “Mike promised me that he would run a clean campaign. I advised the people involved in my campaign that we would not [go negative]. He’s made some outrageous allegations, and I have no choice but to respond.”
Broxson is supporting Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, saying it’s a matter of looking at the big picture down the road with the U.S. Supreme Court.
“We have Supreme Court justices that’s [sic] been serving for over 30 years,” Broxson said. “And to think that we could have 3-5 new appointees from a perspective that my constituency does not believe in, concerns me greatly and I think it concerns a lot of people in this country.”
Among the endorsements Doug Broxson has picked up in his state Senate bid are Governor Scott, the National Rifle Association, and the Florida Chamber of Commerce.