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Clay County helps turn Florida into a Republican stronghold

By Don Coble
Posted 11/9/22

CLAY COUNTY – Once considered an important swing state, Florida turned decidedly Republican

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Clay County helps turn Florida into a Republican stronghold


CLAY COUNTY – Once considered an important swing state, Florida turned decidedly Republican Tuesday after Governor Ron DeSantis and Senator Mark Rubio easily won re-elections.

The red wave continued with Sam Garrison, who is in line to become the Florida Speaker of the House in 2024, easily out-distanced Cornelius Jones by 49 percentage points in the Florida newly-drawn District 11 race.

“It was an amazing night for Republicans in Clay County,” Garrison said. “There's no other way to describe it. It was about as good as it gets.”

Republicans now will have super-majorities in the Florida House and Senate. The advantage will be 85-35 in the House. Garrison said since he will have a super-majority, DeSantis will call a special session next month to address property insurance issues.

“It's a new day in Tallahassee, the voters have spoken, decisively,” Garrison said. “That's the largest Republican (legislative) margin in the history of the state.”

In Clay County, Alexandra Compere easily beat Leroy Edwards by 24 percentage points for the District 2 seat on the Board of County Commissioners. Compere will replace Chairman Wayne Bolla, who termed out.

“I am just overwhelmed by the support, truly,” Compere said. “I don't have the words. It has been quite the ride, quite the ride.”

Compere said the county’s growth and finances are keys, so she plans to study the details of the proposed impact fee the county has considered.

“I think in my second official meeting, the board's going to have to weigh in on the impact fees, which is going to one way or another affect the development community,” she said. “So that's something that I'm looking at just because of the timeline. I can't ignore it. The development community has made their voices heard at the meeting a couple of weeks ago, so I'm looking forward to diving in and getting familiar with the issues, the pros and cons of both sides.”

Aaron Bean won the newly-drawn District 4 seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Clay County currently is in District 3 and represented by Kat Cammack – also easily won re-election – but the House moved the county into a district that now includes portions of Duval County and most of Clay and Nassau counties.

“We said better days have to be ahead on curbing inflation, stopping skyrocketing gas prices and issues impacting everyday Floridians,” Bean said during his victory speech Tuesday night. “We said better days have to be ahead on supply chain issues that hurt business owners day in and day out under Biden-Pelosi.

“We said we have to protect and secure our borders, we have to make sure parents are the deciders of their child's education, and Americans need to be able to work and provide for their families. And together, we will do just that.

“I want to thank the voters of Congressional District 4 in Nassau, Duval and Clay counties for believing in me and for sending me to the United States Congress.”

Ashley Moody was re-elected as the state’s Attorney General; Wilton Simpson won the Agriculture Commissioner’s race; Jimmy Patronis won the Chief Financial Officer’s job.

All are Republicans and all won by at least 16 percentage points statewide. In Clay County, the closest race was decided by 47 percentage points.

In other ballot measures, all judges for the court of appeals were re-elected.

Statewide amendments limiting assessments on real property for hurricane improvements, abolishing the Constitutional Revision Commission and providing additional homestead property tax exemptions to specific public service workers all passed.

Countywide, the cost of living pay increases for county commissioners, the removal of term limits for constitutional officers and the removal the Charter Review Commission all failed, but the continued one mill ad valorem tax to provide security at public and charter schools passed.

For all results, visit