By A.G. Gancarski
September 2, 2021
Byrd abandoned a Senate bid weeks back.
Rep. Cord Byrd is poised to serve his full eight years in the Florida House after all.
The third-term Republican from House District 11 announced on Facebook Thursday that he would run for re-election, having already abandoned his run for Senate earlier this summer.
“There is much work to be done in our state’s Capitol to keep Florida on the right track and push back against the dysfunction of Washington D.C.,” Byrd contended.
Byrd was one of three Republicans who had sought to succeed term limited Sen. Aaron Bean, who represents Senate District 4, but was well behind fellow Reps. Jason Fischer and Clay Yarborough in fundraising. Senate leadership backed Yarborough, forcing Fischer and Byrd out of the race.
While Byrd may be out of the Senate race, his desire to return to Tallahassee creates an interesting situation, given something resembling a Primary field in HD 11.
Jacksonville Beach lawyer Heath Brockwell has raised less than $25,000 through six months in the race, with just $375 raised in July. August numbers are due by Sept. 10. Meanwhile, Hilliard resident Bo Wade Hodges has raised $105 thus far, and he’s been in the race since February.
Byrd has north of $110,000 between the money in his still-active Senate campaign account and his state-level political committee, “1845.” He also will have amassed good will by being a team player and avoiding the competitive Primary. There is a narrow path for any Primary challenger, in other words, given the realities of an incumbent seeking his fourth and final term in a district he has demonstrated political command for years.
One prospective candidate, Duval GOP Chair Dean Black, was quick to wish Byrd luck.
“I am thrilled that my friend Representative Cord Byrd has decided to return to the Florida House. Our region is well served with Cord in the Legislature and he has my complete and total support for another term,” Black said.
Black had been considering a run for HD 11 and has raised more than $170,000 for his True Conservatives political committee. He plans to keep the account open for a head start when the seat is open in 2024, says one connected source.
HD 11 includes Nassau and beachside Duval County, and is drawn to ensure a Republican winner. In 2020, Byrd won the General Election with more than 68% of the vote.