- The Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) has established The Center for Political Strategy to enhance the business community’s involvement in Florida’s political landscape.
- The center aims to collaborate with various stakeholders, including associations, corporate leaders, and political groups, to support pro-business candidates from both parties in Florida’s Legislature through methods such as polling and grassroots activities.
- Led by AIF’s Vice President of Political Operations Jeremy Sheftel, the center will prioritize recruiting candidates based on their principles rather than political affiliation and will work towards a pro-business legislature for the long term. Consultants Frank Terraferma and Steven Schale will also be part of the effort.
The Associated Industries of Florida (AIF), one of the state’s largest business groups, announced the formation of The Center for Political Strategy during its annual conference in Orlando on Tuesday.
The center will operate in conjunction with regional and statewide association partners, corporate leaders, and business political groups, according to AIF, with the purpose of increasing the business community’s engagement in Florida’s political scene. Collaborative efforts will work towards the goal of electing pro-business candidates across both parties to the Florida Legislature.
To achieve this, the center will utilize various polling methodologies, launch grassroots initiatives in campaigns of interest, and coordinate with AIF Political Action Committees.
“This collaborative, full-service political effort is unlike anything else currently being done and fills a need for political leadership within the business community,” said AIF President and CEO Brewster Bevis. “It’s a strategic, robust, long-term approach – far beyond political giving – that will not only be important to the 2024 election cycle, but will build the groundwork that will help ensure Florida has a pro-business legislature for many decades to come.”
The Center will be housed within AIF and led by AIF’s new Vice President of Political Operations Jeremy Sheftel, who previously held positions with Sen. Marco Rubio for U.S. Senate, Adam Putnam for Governor, and at the Republican National Committee, Republican Party of Florida and Georgia Republican Party.
“Through The Center, AIF and its partners will actively recruit pro-business candidates, with an eye on the future and legislative classes and leaders to come years down the line, and further engage with these candidates through unique data, insights, and analysis to ensure their success,” Sheftel said. “Importantly, this statewide effort will prioritize a candidate’s principles over their political affiliation, with a focus on recruiting and supporting both Republicans and Democrats to more effectively improve the legislature’s business climate.”
AIF is also bringing on Frank Terraferma and Steven Schale to serve as consultants to the Center. Terraferma, a Republican political consultant, has served as director of House Campaigns in Florida for 14 years. In 2022, he guided House Republicans to their largest majority in the modern era.
Schale, a Democratic political consultant, has served as Florida state director for the 2008 Obama presidential campaign and as a senior advisor to the Obama campaign in Florida in 2012.