Paul Renner

Palm Coast Rep. Paul Renner Ready To Take Reins As Florida House Speaker

Sep 22, 2021
Florida House of Representatives

Rep. Paul Renner formally became the next speaker of the Florida House on Tuesday, as the Palm Coast Republican prepares to move into one of the most-powerful positions in the state after the 2022 elections.

Renner speaking on House floor
Florida House of Representatives

Rep. Paul Renner (R-Palm Coast) emerged Friday as the Republican choice for House speaker following the 2022 elections, giving Northeast Florida a much-desired spot for the first time in two decades.

Renner was supported by fellow members of his "class”— lawmakers elected to their first full term this past November — with 16 votes, two more than he needed for the win, according to the Florida Times-Union.

torange.biz / Creative Commons

After battling for years over how to make healthcare more accessible and affordable, Florida lawmakers landed on a compromise. Instead of expanding Medicaid to cover more people, they decided during last year’s session to attack the cost of care directly, creating a database to make procedure pricing transparent.

We discuss the week's biggest news stories with our roundtable of local journalists: Fred Matthews, Examiner blogger; Andrew Pantazi, Florida Times-Union reporter; Tim Gibbons, Jacksonville Business Journal editor; A.G. Gancarski, Folio Weekly and FloridaPolitics.com columnist.

Topics include Marissa Alexander's release from jail, former Atlantic Beach police chief Michael Classey taking a plea deal on five felony drug counts, the outcomes of local Republican primary elections this week, Gov. Rick Scott's budget, and more.

Peter Haden

It’s decided.

After a meticulous recount, Jay Fant won the Republican primary for the Florida House District 15 race by just two votes over opponent Paul Renner.

Renner congratulated Fant on a hard fought-win.

“I wish him every success in the State Legislature,” he said.

In Duval County School Board District 2, Sam Hall topped Theresa Graham by four votes. He will now move on to face Scott Shine in the general election in November.

Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland said it’s the closest races he’s witnessed.

Annie Black / WJCT

Two races from Tuesday night’s election are still too close to call.

Election officials expect to conduct recounts in those tight races,  the Florida House District 15 contest between Republicans Jay Fant and Paul Renner and Duval County School Board District 2, which would determine whether Sam Hall or Theresa Graham will head into a runoff election with Scott Shine.

“Recounts are rare,” said Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland. “ We’ve only done one in the last nine years. This is the first time we’ve had two at the same time.”

Just three votes separated candidates Jay Fant and Paul Renner in Tuesday’s bruising Republican primary for Florida House District 15.

  Jacksonville Republican Jay Fant and state attorney and Navy veteran Paul Renner are facing off in the August 26 primary.