Democrat Lauren Baer announced Tuesday that her campaign to unseat freshman Republican U.S. Rep. Brian Mast had picked up support from five elected officials and local leaders within Florida’s 18th Congressional District.
The bulk endorsement included nods from state Sen. Kevin Rader, state Rep. Matt Willhite, West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio, Palm Beach County Tax Collector Ann Gannon, and Jonathan Chane, the second-place finisher in the 2016 Democratic Primary for the seat.
“True leaders find solutions, work with people from all backgrounds to get things done, and fight for what they believe in. Lauren Baer is a true leader. I trust that she will take her experience and fight every day for the residents of Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast,” Rader said.
Chane echoed Rader’s sentiments, adding that he was “proud” to back Baer.
Willhite said Baer was the “best candidate to represent this District’s values in Washington,” while Muoio and Gannon praised the former U.S. State Department official and CD 18 native for both her passion and experience.
“I am humbled to have the endorsement of these tireless advocates for their communities,” Baer said. “The people of Florida 18 are ready to be represented by someone who will fight every day to make sure their voices are heard in Washington. I look forward to following in the footsteps of these incredible public servants.”
Baer is running against Pam Keith in the Democratic Primary for CD 18, which covers all of St. Lucie and Martin counties as well as northeastern Palm Beach County, including Tequesta, Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens and part of West Palm Beach.
Earlier this month Baer announced that her campaign raised $325,000 in the fourth quarter of 2017, bringing her to-date total to $575,000. The campaign didn’t disclose her on-hand total, though she had $236,000 in the bank at the end of the third quarter.
End-of-year reports for Keith and Mast have not yet been posted by the Federal Elections Commission, but Keith had raised $150,000 through the end of September, and had $63,000 on hand, while Mast had cleared $1.6 million through the same date and had $921,000 in the bank.