On Election Night 2022, incoming Senate President Kathleen Passidomo sent out an email celebrating the victories of 28 GOP state senators and the aggressive conservative agenda. But she also singled out three brand new state senators, each of them chalking up history-making wins:
“Tonight, we celebrate the election of 28 new and returning conservative Republican Senators around the state, including historic victories with Corey Simon, Jay Collins and Alexis Calatayud. With the first Black Republican since Reconstruction, the first Green Beret and one of the youngest members ever elected, we will return to Tallahassee with a super majority and a renewed commitment to fighting for access to the American Dream for all Floridians.”
In addition to being “historic firsts” in their own unique ways, all three of them accomplished another first: the Senate offices they now occupy also happen to be their first forays into any public office.
On Monday, they’ll convene along with their Senate and House colleagues, in their first official legislative session, and get their first taste of the whirlwind of lobbyists and public affairs professions doing all they can to influence votes and shape legislation.
With many long-time public affairs professionals about to descend on Florida’s capitol complex, Monday marks their first chance to meet the Florida Senate’s newest members in person. But before that, The Capitolist had the opportunity to interview all three of them.
Their profiles are this week’s Sunday Column:
Meet State Senator Corey Simon: “What you see is what you get.”
Meet State Senator Jay Collins: “Sometimes you have to step back to step forward.”
Meet State Senator Alexis Calatayud: “Find the gap and fill it.”