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Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri backs Ed Hooper in SD 16

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri is throwing his support behind Ed Hooper.

Gualtieri announced Thursday he was endorsing Hooper in the race to replace Sen. Jack Latvala in Senate District 16. Gualtieri said Hooper’s “real-world, first-hand insight” will serve him — and Florida voters — well in the Florida Senate.

“For as long as I’ve known Ed Hooper he has been a staunch supporter of our law enforcement and first responder community,” he said. “His background as a firefighter gives him a unique perspective on the daily sacrifices of our men and women in uniform who protect and serve our neighbors.”

Hooper, a former state representative and former member of the Clearwater City Council, said he was pleased to have “one of the most proactive, engaged Sheriffs in the country” on his campaign team.

“Sheriff Gualtieri’s passion for protecting citizens is on display each and every day. He is constantly in our neighborhoods and communities getting feedback from residents and engaging with his deputies to keep our streets safe and morale high,” said Hooper. “I’m grateful for Bob’s generous support, and I look forward to working with him here in Pinellas County and in Tallahassee.”

Latvala can’t run for re-election in 2018 because of term limits.

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