Thursday, March 02, 2023

Travis Hutson family real estate development among fastest growing in country ("Staff Reports," Florida Politics, January 7, 2023)

Senator-developer TRAVIS JAMES HUTSON is "blessed" to have financed with dark money campaign contributions the "regulatory capture" of St. Johns County Commissioners like DeSANTIS appointee SARAH ARNOLD and current Commission Chairman CHRISTIAN WHITEHURST.
Was developer-Senator HUTSON "born on third base and thinks he hit a triple," in the words of the late Texas Governor Ann Richards about George W. Bush?  

Here is HUTSON with two of his pals: Clerk of Courts BRANDON J. PATTY and St. Johns County Commission Chairman CHRISTIAN WHITEHURST:

From Florida Politics: 

Travis Hutson family real estate development among fastest growing in country   

("Staff Reports," Florida Politics, January 7, 2023)

Silverleaf continues to grow with the blessing of local leaders.

One of the leading Republicans in the Senate is also a leading force in development in Northeast Florida, and industry experts are taking notice.

The Hutson Companies’ SilverLeaf’s 1,034 sales in 2022 were good for third place among all master-planned communities, according to industry source RCLCO.

Hutson Companies’ Vice President Travis Hutson, who represents St. Johns, Flagler and Volusia counties in the Florida Senate, took stock of the achievement.

“Selling over 1,000 homes in just under our third year of breaking ground has been truly remarkable. We want to thank our builders, contractors, sub-contractors and residents for making this all possible,” Hutson said in a press release.

St. Johns County Commissioners also lauded the development’s achievement, noting development concessions that could establish a new standard in the county.

“I want to congratulate SilverLeaf on all its successes,” said Commissioner Sarah Arnold. “This developer pledged all the infrastructure like roads and sidewalks, as well as dedicated the land for parks and schools all up front before they would agree to build a single house. This kind of commitment is what St. Johns County needs when we discuss what smart development looks like.”

“SilverLeaf has set a new standard for development in St. Johns County,” added Commissioner Christian Whitehurst. “By building infrastructure up front, it ensures that the county can accommodate the new residents who are moving into their homes. We’ve seen other developments following in the footsteps of SilverLeaf’s successful model for growth.”

Hutson was last elected to the Senate in 2022, and he faced a surprisingly competitive Primary against underfunded Gerry James. He won by 56% to 43%, but not without having poured $90,000 of his own money into his campaign account to facilitate an ad buy before early voting. A positive spot that included a reference to an endorsement from Gov. Ron DeSantis resulted.

SilverLeaf is expected to eventually have more than 16,000 dwelling units of various sizes. It is located in St. Johns County, Florida between County Road 210 and State Road 16 at St. Johns Parkway west of Interstate 95.


  • William Calioy

    January 7, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    It is amazing how successful the Hutson family can be by buying up all the local government officials, making back room deals, getting state and county taxpayers to pay for their infrastructure using dirty politics. The Huston syndicate even managed to get an endorsement form “”the best governor in the country” who also appointed two toadies, Sarah Arnold and Roy Alaimo to the St John’s County Commission who will pass everything that Huston’s want.
    Just so, everyone knows the St John’s County commission gave the Hutson’s a dollar for dollar impact fee credits for their so-called “pledges” for infrastructure, parks, and sidewalks. The problem is that all those commitments primarily benefit the Silverleaf development. The County taxpayers are left dealing with all the future impact. It is all a dishonest shell game. We taxpayers get the traffic, and taxes and Travis Hutson and his family rake in millions. Good ol’ boy shady politics is alive and well in North East Florida

    • Exploited SJC resident

      January 8, 2023 at 8:07 am


    • Gerry James

      January 8, 2023 at 9:34 am

      Tried to explain this to the good people in our county and district. He outspent me 10-15 to one. Hard to overcome that but through hard work we almost did. We must change this conflict of interest in our county and district in 24. Establishment politicians are destroying our way and the quality of life throughout our entire country. We need truthful conservative patriots in office.

  • Exploited SJC resident

    January 8, 2023 at 8:29 am

    Amazing. Whitehurst and Arnold don’t even feign neutrality. They’re lauding The Hutson Companies in the media after being bought off with tens of thousands of dollars in campaign donations and political favors. Arnold was appointed with zero related job experience, and she was sworn in two hours before she made the motion to expand SilverLeaf. Her father-in-law is an attorney to David Hutson! And she’s a long time friend of Travis Hutson – total COI. She refused to meet with the opposition prior to the Dec. 21 SilverLeaf vote, and only met with two Hutsons and their attorney. In her first five months in office, she voted to put more undeveloped land under the bulldozer than any other commissioner according to BOCC minutes. 

    The commission approved the SilverLeaf expansion despite OVERWHELMING opposition from their constituents, as reported in the media. And now we have a new commissioner appointed who doesn’t even live in the district he represents and is also far less qualified than others who applied. He’s another Hutson puppet who will continue destroying our county. No wonder we’re the fastest growing in the state. We’re the most corrupt. This is just the tip of the iceberg of the corruption and COIs in our county. Please report on it.

    • BeachGirlPV

      January 8, 2023 at 11:05 am

      Everything you stated is FACTS!!!
      Silverleaf sucks. Its overcrowded 210 cannot handle that traffic neither can the other roads. Should we discuss brand new schools with the kids having to be in pods outside the schools? And it was not thought out and they’re still building the building a ton of apartments over there.Good luck with that! Smh

  • BeachGilrPV

    January 8, 2023 at 11:01 am

    The Hutson Mafia (and it is) is so corrupt. I have watched this first hand this year. Gerry James was the better candidate but Hutson bought the win. Along with his cronies – Sarah Arnold, Casey Woosley a judge , Beverly Slough school board and more.
    Funny how Krista Keeting won her seat (GOOD! ) against Blocker and Blocker never contested the close margin. Why is that? Because they would’ve found inconsistencies and then all of the election would have been challenged. Hutson is corrupt all day long.

  • SJCPatriot lady

    January 8, 2023 at 4:39 pm

    Every comment here is absolute truth! Talk about a conflict of interest..the largest developer in Northern FL is the State Senator! He has sold his constituents out for his own personal gain..and our wonderful Governor continues to do the Hutson bidding by appointing Hutson people to County Commissioner seats who continue to do whatever the Hutson family wants! We are left with little infrastructure , traffic jams, crowded schools, etc etc.

  • Bruce Kading

    January 8, 2023 at 4:57 pm

    Unfortunately, this is what happens when you have one-party rule. With nobody holding them accountable on the other side, and many in the Republican Party ignoring what is happening in terms of corrupt growth in the county, Hutson and his enablers, like Arnold, Whitehurst, advance a pro-growth agenda that directly lines Hutson’s pockets. The conflicts of interest here are obvious and unacceptable to anybody interested in honest government. DeSantis makes things worse by appointing a former gopher in his congressional office, Ray Alaimo, to the county commission, despite Alaimo’s complete lack of any experience that prepares him for the job. But how much experience do you need to ask Travis Hutson how you should vote? 

    For those who missed it because of the lack of any significant coverage by the media, Hutson and DeSantis recently teamed up to pass a law that removed Nicole Crosby from her position as the Chairman of the St. John’s Soil and Water Conservation District after she was elected by the voters of St. Johns County. The reason? She annoyed Hutson by beating his hand-picked candidate for the position, so he created a law that said anybody serving in such positions had to have a background in agriculture, a ludicrous requirement that now prevents soil scientists from serving in those positions. DeSantis happily signed off on the law, thereby disenfranchising thousands of St, Johns County voters. As I stated at the beginning, one-party rule leads to arrogance and corruption.

    • Exploited SJC resident

      January 8, 2023 at 10:31 pm

      Commissioner Joseph (Republican) campaigned with a slow-the-growth message that resonated so strongly with voters, she won despite being outspent ten to one. But that’s just one commissioner out of five. Hutson still runs St. Johns County, and DeSantis will keep it that way, as long as the massive Hutson donations keep rolling in. 

      DeSantis’ appointments serve the needs of developers and not St. Johns County residents who are begging and screaming to slow the rate of growth – the fastest in Florida.


Anonymous said...

Mixed use zones produce happier, healthier, and more vibrant communities. People focus on the money being made with these cookie cutter housing arrangements but don't understand the impact that they have on the community. When you have to drive your kids 20 minutes to do anything, that has an impact on their development. They should be able to walk right outside their front door and interact more freely with the community in a more dynamic way. These cookie cutter neighborhoods are open air prisons for kids. A park and a pool doesn't cut it, and when half their friends live too far away to visit then this becomes a problem as well. One might draw the conclusion that this feeds into the nomadism we see in the USA. One can imagine kids might want to get as far away from such an arrangement as soon as they can. What is a bigger driver of people wanting to move to cities than the semi rural cookie cutter neighborhood? How does this improve smaller cities like St. Augustine? Where are the jobs for all these people? Bring your own money?

Anonymous said...

The hogs keep voting for other hogs, they get what they deserve. They're all Republicans complaining about what Republicans do and don't ever switch sides. Nothing will change as long as people continue to vote Republican. They're just pissing in the wind these poor conservatives.

Anonymous said...

So called conservatives will never get it. This is what Republicans do. Don't complain about it and then continue to vote Republican. Don't vote for them and then piss and moan later. They manipulated you with promises, religious and right wing propaganda, lies, and divide and conquer tactics to begin with. The results shouldn't come as a surprise. Mistaken beliefs are followed by regrets. Conservative Republicanism is the problem. Social Democracy is the solution.

Albert J. Abbatiello said...

If the Democrats would actually have viable candidates enter commissioner elections and run decent campaigns with similar "deep pocket" sponsors they might actually win some seats. On the other hand most politicians, Democrat or Republican sponsored by the "Deep Pocket" sponsors vote for the special interests of their major donors anyway. Let's start getting Independent voters getting "more neutral" candidates on the ballot and then support them financially so they could be competitive against the CORPORATE sponsors. Al Abbatiello

Anonymous said...

Hutson is evil. The problem is the ignorant in Clay and Putnam voted for this fraud . He lost the vote in Saint Johns. Let Hutson go kill trees in Clay and Putnam if they think he’s such a great guy

Anonymous said...

I knew there was something wrong in the approval of so many developments for this family business. Now I can see what’s going on outside the box. These alliances never happened under the lead of Cheryl Strickland or George Lareau as Clerk of
Courts. St John’s County lost big time when George Lareau was removed by DeSantis in an unexpected move. Now we know why.

Anonymous said...

And of course we have Trump. He cut his own taxes, grifted millions and spent it on his own fat ass, and lest we forget how much he made from "foreign guests" and secret service living lavishly at his hotels. Socialism for billionaires.