Elected in November, Travis Hutson ’07 will begin his term as District 24 representative in the Florida legislature in mid-January. A resident of Elkton, he is well known throughout St. Johns County where he received the Character Counts Award as a high school senior. As a businessman, he has served on the HandsOn Jacksonville board of directors and the St. Augustine Youth Services development committee.
Now representing 195,000 fellow citizens, Hutson, a Republican, will become a member of five committees including education and economic development & tourism—two arenas in which he’s keenly interested.
A realtor with Watson Realty Corp., Jacksonville, Hutson is also a silent partner in Neo Sports Athletics with CEO Jeriah “Jerry” Cohen Jr. ’07. Previously, he worked four years in property and agricultural management for his family’s business, The Hutson Companies. During a year at the Vestcor Companies with John Rood, former U.S. ambassador to the Bahamas, he specialized in sales and acquisitions as well as analyzing financial data for investments.
“I plan to take my business experiences and apply them to the public sector,” says Hutson, an economics and business graduate. “My professors at Lafayette encouraged us to take it to the next level in terms of our thought process. We learned how to get around obstacles.”
He says Susan Averett, Dana Professor of Economics, and David Stifel, associate professor of economics and co-chair of international affairs, played significant roles in his development.
Being a student-athlete also shaped his character. A wide receiver on three Patriot League championship football teams, he also captured a 2006 Patriot League Outdoor track championship in the 100-meter sprint.
“Every one of my coaches was an inspiration,” Hutson says. “They taught me about kindness and compassion. They worked with us as individuals.”
While a student, Hutson volunteered for the Lauren’s First and Goal summer camps led by football defensive coordinator John Loose to raise money for pediatric cancer research.
A political campaign volunteer for the past six years, Hutson decided to run after being energized by the U.S. congressional campaign of Adam H. Putnam, now Florida commissioner of agriculture.
“I was so engaged by the process that when this state house seat opened up and there was no one to represent it, I threw my hat in the ring,” he says.
Hutson’s wife, Tanya Hutson, is the daughter of Elaine Nesbit, office assistant, recreation services, and Steven Nesbit, professor of mechanical engineering.