PALM COAST, Fla. – Darryl Boyer, a 23 year-old college student from Palm Coast, has confirmed he will be running for the state House of Representatives in 2024. His name appears on the state elections website as of Wednesday evening. He enters a Republican primary against Flagler County Commissioner Donald O’Brien and James St. George, the winner of which will likely face Democrat Adam Morley in the general election.
The seat Boyer is vying for, the 19th district in the state House, is currently occupied by House Speaker Paul Renner. Boyer worked with Renner on his 2022 re-election campaign, and has previously been touted by Renner as a promising talent. Due to term limits, Renner is unable to run for another term next year, leaving the seat open to challengers. Palm Coast Mayor David Alfin also considered a run, but decided against it.
More recently, Boyer started Perspective PAC, an political committee aimed at increasing racial diversity in Florida Republican politics. Though Boyer’s youth will certainly draw him scrutiny (he’d be 25 at the start of the term), it wouldn’t be unprecedented; former Representative Amber Mariano was elected to the state House in 2016 when she was 21 years old.
Already upon campaign kickoff, Boyer has revealed an endorsement by Representative Webster Barnaby, a would-be colleague from southern Volusia County. His announcement video laid out some main policy priorities: abortion, education, transgender athletes, and “ our God-given rights”. The first three issues demonstrate that Boyer stands at least somewhat close to Governor Ron DeSantis, and by extension the current state legislature, on the litany of cultural and social issues which they’ve so determinedly taken up in the last couple years.
“I’ve seen firsthand the challenges facing our community, and I believe we need strong conservative leadership in Tallahassee to address the issues we are facing in the community and in the state of Florida,” Boyer said in his campaign announcement.
Though O’Brien has Boyer squarely topped in the arena of resume-length due to the candidates’ respective ages, Boyer played into his experience in Tallahassee as a reason he believes he’s up for the job. In addition to working as an aide to Speaker Renner, Boyer has also campaigned for state Senator Corey Simon, and worked as an aide to Barnaby.
With the Republicans’ majority in the state legislature in no serious danger as of now, Boyer and the other Republican candidates will likely need to sell the 19th district on their commitment to hard-right social values, including their willingness to oppose key measures from the LGBTQ+ community and other traditionally left-associating groups. If Boyer wins he will serve up to the end of DeSantis’ governorship, a point at which Florida Republicans will likely need to consider their party’s identity for the coming years.
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