The Florida Governor’s election is well over a year away, however the Walt Disney World Company has placed their financial support behind several GOP hopefuls. Florida Grown, a committee supporting Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, has been the recipient of a total of $400,648 in donations since 2015. The Walt Disney Company has also donated $70,000 to a committee run by state Sen. Jack Latvala and $35,000 to a new committee set up by House Speaker Richard Corcoran.
Putnam is the only one of the three who have officially declared candidacy for the governor position. Latvala and Corcoran have both said they are seriously considering runs.
According to the Orlando Sentinel article, early donations to different potential candidates are not unusual for large corporations, said UCF political science professor Aubrey Jewett. “It’s all about hedging your political bets,” Jewett said. “The game is sort of understood that it’s played that way. As long as you give to everyone, then no one gets upset with you.”
Disney officials would not agree to an interview, but in a statement, Jacquee Wahler, vice president of Walt Disney World Resorts, wrote, “We support candidates who understand issues important to our company and demonstrate strong support for business and tourism in Florida.”
So far Disney has not made any contributions to the three major Democratic candidates already in the race – Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum, former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham and Winter Park businessman Chris King.
For more information, click here to see the full Orlando Sentinel article.
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