PANAMA CITY - State Representative Jimmy Patronis announces he will not run for State Senate in 2016.
Patronis filed in December to run for the seat currently held by Senate President Don Gaetz. The Panama City native has raised nearly $100,000 since then.
His only opponent at this point, Gaetz' son Matt who filed in May but has yet to raise any campaign contributions.
Patronis says he's not ruling out a future run for public office. But he says now is not the time. He wants to spend more time with his wife and two young sons, as well as help run Captain Anderson's, the family restaurant.
Patronis emailed the following letter to his supporters:
When I came to Tallahassee, I wanted to reduce government and make it easier for people to do business in Florida. I am proud to have accomplished much of what I came to Tallahassee to achieve while working to ensure a better quality of life for my constituents in the Panhandle and across the state.
I have a strong desire to continue to serve the people of the Northwest Florida another 8 years in the State Senate. However, an overwhelming part of me has come to realize it is not what’s best for me and my family at this time in our lives. So I have decided I will no longer be a candidate for State Senate.
My wife Katie and I were only married for 2 years when I became a legislator. Our sons, Theo and Johnny, were born during my time of service. I have missed a lot of valuable time with my young family and I do not think it is fair to be away from them any longer at this time.
My brothers have had to shoulder a large portion of running our family business, Capt. Anderson’s Restaurant, over the last 7 years. I am grateful they have so graciously allowed me to serve the people of the Panhandle. However, it is time for me to resume my full responsibilities and obligations at home in Panama City.
I am not stepping away from community service, and I have not ruled out a future run for public office. For now I have decided this is not the right time to run, and I’m looking forward to finishing strong during my last year in the Florida House of Representatives.
Serving you in the Florida House of Representatives is an honor.