Florida state Senate: Times Editorial Board recommendation
This one universal primary is open to all voters
Visitors walk into Florida's Capitol building.
Visitors walk into Florida's Capitol building. [ SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times ]
This article represents the opinion of the Tampa Bay Times Editorial Board.
Published July 22, 2022

State Senator, District 20

Universal Primary: Jim Boyd

Jim Boyd
Jim Boyd [ Boyd campaign ]

This one’s easy. Republican state Sen. Jim Boyd is the only serious candidate in the race.

Boyd, 65, is chief executive of Boyd Insurance who served eight years in the Florida House before being elected to the state Senate in 2020. The Bradenton native was first elected to the Palmetto City Council in 1989, later serving as the city’s mayor. As a state lawmaker representing Bradenton and area Gulf Coast beaches, Boyd has been a reliable conservative who has taken the lead on Florida’s opioid crisis and, more recently, the state’s troubled property insurance market. Boyd is regarded as a consensus-builder who tends to local constituent affairs. He needs to be attentive to the growing neighborhoods in the Hillsborough County portion of the district, which include Riverview, Lithia and Sun City Center.

His challenger, Republican John Houman, 75, has run for the Legislature three times before, and this campaign is another low-watt, low-budget distraction. Because no Democrat qualified for this race, the primary is a universal election open to all registered voters.

The Tampa Bay Times recommends Jim Boyd in the universal primary for State Senator, District 20.

Related: Read the Times recommendations in other races.

The recommendation process

Before making a recommendation, the Times Editorial Board asks candidates to fill out questionnaires and sit for an interview. The process can also include running criminal and civil background checks, interviewing candidates’ colleagues and employers, reviewing voting records and financial disclosures and examining their past and current positions on relevant issues.

Candidate replies

Candidates not recommended by the editorial board are offered an opportunity to reply. Judicial candidates may send replies of up to 150 words by 5 p.m. Aug. 4 to Editor of Editorials Graham Brink at

Editorials are the institutional voice of the Tampa Bay Times. The members of the Editorial Board are Editor of Editorials Graham Brink, Sherri Day, Sebastian Dortch, John Hill, Jim Verhulst and Chairman and CEO Conan Gallaty. Follow @TBTimes_Opinion on Twitter for more opinion news.