Republican Jim Boyd wins race for Florida Senate District 21

The former lawmaker ran against a Democratic middle-school teacher.
Rep, Jim Boyd, on the floor of the Florida House.
Rep, Jim Boyd, on the floor of the Florida House. [ SCOTT KEELER | TIMES ]
Published Nov. 4, 2020|Updated Nov. 4, 2020

Republican Jim Boyd, a former lawmaker and chief executive of an insurance company, handily won the race for state Senate District 21 Tuesday night.

The victory for Boyd, 63, ensures that he will return to the Florida Legislature after serving as a House member representing Bradenton from 2010 to 2018. District 21 encompasses Manatee County and parts of southeastern Hillsborough. The seat was previously held by Senate President Bill Galvano, a Republican.

Around 9:45 p.m, Boyd had received about 61 percent of the vote, according to the Florida Division of Elections’ results site, which shows unofficial results that don’t include all mail-in ballots.

Boyd has said as a senator, he would help Florida recover from the disastrous economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic while remaining fiscally responsible and keeping taxes low.

Boyd prevailed over opponent Anthony “Tony” Eldon, a 23-year-old Bradenton middle school teacher who also owns a small media company, BLKThought, LLC, that promotes Black history and Black news on social media.

Eldon became the Democrat on the ballot after the party’s previous candidate, Amanda Linton, dropped out of the race unexpectedly in mid-August because her husband had to close his restaurant business due to the pandemic. According to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Linton said that her family would need to move to Mississippi because of her husband’s new job.

The last-minute timing made Eldon’s campaign, already a longshot in a typically red district, even more disadvantaged.

As of late October, Boyd’s campaign, plus his political committee, had raised around $1 million, while Eldon had raised just more than $11,000.

Senators serve 4-year terms and are paid $29,697 annually. The 40-member Senate, along with the state House, passes bills that become law with Gov. Ron DeSantis' signature.

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