Sen. Kathleen Passidomo has emerged the winner in a leadership fight, after Senate Republicans tapped her to take over as the chamber’s president in 2022.
Passidomo, a Naples Republican, was picked Tuesday afternoon to take over as president, a post contingent on the GOP holding its majority.
Passidomo, who currently serves as Senate majority leader and would serve as president for the 2023 and 2024 legislative sessions, had been in a tight race for the leadership position with St. Augustine Republican Sen. Travis Hutson.
“I’m humbled to have the support of my colleagues in the Florida Senate, and I will do everything I can to make them proud in service to this great state and to the people of Florida,” Passidomo told The News Service of Florida in a statement.
Passidomo added that she is currently focused on supporting Senate President Bill Galvano and his successor, Sen. Wilton Simpson, who will take over as president after the 2020 elections.
Passidomo said she also is concentrating on ensuring Republicans maintain a majority in the Senate following next year’s elections.
Hutson said he signed a “pledge card” indicating his support for Passidomo’s presidency after she agreed “to treat everybody in the chamber the same,” regardless of whom they had supported in the leadership fight.
“I did not ask for anything for me – for any deal,” Hutson said. “I asked her to take care of my team and I signed the card." Sen. Joe Gruters, a Sarasota Republican who is also the chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, said he looks forward to Passidomo leading the Senate with “distinction” in the future
Florida Democrats would need to flip three Senate seats to win the majority in the chamber, a difficult but possible task.