Adam Hattersley, a former Democrat House of Representatives member (District 59 – Brandon), took the necessary steps Tuesday to join Florida’s race for Chief Financial Officer, formally announcing his candidacy on Twitter.
The Navy veteran plans to implement a campaign surrounding issues of rising insurance rates and tax spending transparency while going after Jimmy Patronis’ focus on out-of-state events. Aligning himself with the “Democrat Blue Dog Coalition” during his congressional run, Hattersley is making an effort to establish himself as a moderate or centrist Democrat.
“Floridians, where is your tax money going? Why are your insurance costs rising month-to-month? What does your Chief Financial Officer even do? There’s only one person to go to for these important questions — Jimmy Patronis … Florida’s current CFO,” says Hattersley’s introductory campaign ad. “Only thing is, we Floridians don’t know where he is! When you needed him most, he was gone, focused more on California politics than us, the citizens that elected him.”
Today, I am proud to announce my candidacy to be Florida's next Chief Financial Officer. Floridians deserve a CFO who will show up and fight for them. I pledge to be that CFO. I will represent you, the people of Florida, and not special interests. #WheresJimmy pic.twitter.com/EfbZKBjzfY
— Adam Hattersley (@HattersleyforFL) March 1, 2022
Hattersley faces a steep uphill battle against the popular incumbent, who has raised in excess of $3 million dollars in fundraising, eclipsing $400,000 alone in donations in Nov. 2021. Patronis has served as Florida’s CFO since his appointment by former Governor Rick Scott in 2017 before winning a full term in 2018 over Democrat competitor Jeremy Ring, receiving just under 52 percent of the vote. Highlights under Patronis’ administration include the return of millions of dollars in unclaimed property, support of law enforcement, insurance fraud investigation, and advanced consumer protection measures.
“Every year as CFO, I’ve worked to protect Florida consumers and combat rising insurance rates in our state. Whether it’s tackling AOB abuse, curbing post-disaster fraud, or stopping unscrupulous contractors, eliminating fraud is key to keeping insurance costs in check,” said Patronis. “Since I took office, our fraud unit has made more than 4,500 fraud and arson-related arrests. These efforts have resulted in a total of more than $173 million in court-ordered restitution.”
If an interview with Spectrum News last July is any indication, Hattersley will struggle to compete against the fundraising of his opponents.
“Fundraising was the biggest challenge for me,” Hattersley told Spectrum Bay News 9. “You get much more comfortable with it with repetition. But it was brand new for me for the statehouse race. I had minimal lists and contacts, so it was very challenging. You know, the more you do, the more comfortable you get, but it’s never a comfortable feeling. You can be the best, smartest person in the world but if you don’t raise money, you won’t get the time of day. So fundraising is definitely an issue. We were obviously able to vastly improve on that in a congressional campaign, but it’s still a major, major problem.”
The Democratic Primary for the CFO race will take place on Aug. 23rd, where Hattersley will appear on ballots alongside party opponents Tyrone Noel Javellana and Karla Jones, where he is expected to be a heavy favorite.