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‘Florida Strong’: Rick Scott scores endorsements from 55 sheriffs

The vast majority of Florida’s law enforcement leaders fell in behind Gov. Rick Scott‘s Senate bid, in an unsurprising phalanx of endorsements Monday that coincided with Scott rolling out his Florida Strong Coalition.

Per the media release from Scott’s campaign: “Sheriffs in attendance recognized Governor Scott’s leadership during times of crisis, his commitment to maintaining open communication with law enforcement leaders, and his work championing investments and legislation that have supported public safety by providing law enforcement organizations with the resources they need.”

“Throughout my time as governor, I have been honored to partner with Florida’s law enforcement leaders to champion important public safety investments and legislation to keep our families, visitors and communities safe,” Scott said.

Scott lauded the close cooperation between state and county law enforcement, pivoting in his media release quote to a criticism of federal efforts.

“Unfortunately,” Scott said, “we have not seen the same public safety leadership we have here in Florida at the federal level. We have seen the FBI fail time and time again to take action when they were warned about impending tragedy in Florida, with no accountability or transparency for the families whose lives were forever changed. It’s infuriating that the FBI has ignored our calls for answers, and that politicians in Congress have not done more to demand responsibility. Florida families deserve more.”

The Florida Democratic Party, in a statement, attributed the endorsements to “personal favors Rick Scott called in from Sheriffs.”

The following 55 Florida sheriffs have endorsed Scott’s Senate campaign:

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri

Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell

Baker County Sheriff Scotty Rhoden

Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford

Bradford County Sheriff Gordon Smith

Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey

Charlotte County Sheriff Bill Prummell, Jr.

Citrus County Sheriff Mike Prendergast

Clay County Sheriff Darryl Daniels

Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk

Columbia County Sheriff Mark Hunter

Desoto County Sheriff James Potter

Duval County Sheriff Mike Williams

Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan

Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly

Franklin County Sheriff A.J. Smith

Gilchrist County Sheriff Bobby Schultz

Glades County Sheriff David Hardin

Gulf County Sheriff Mike Harrison

Hamilton County Sheriff Harrell Reid

Hardee County Sheriff Arnold Lanier

Hendry County Sheriff Steve Whidden

Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis

Highlands County Sheriff Paul Blackman

Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister

Indian River County Sheriff Deryl Loar

Jackson County Sheriff Lou Roberts

Jefferson County Sheriff Mac McNeil

Lake County Sheriff Peyton Grinnell

Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott

Levy County Bobby McCallum

Liberty County Sheriff Eddie Joe White

Madison County Sheriff Ben Stewart

Manatee County Sheriff Rick Wells

Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods

Martin County Sheriff William Snyder

Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay

Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper

Okaloosa County Sheriff Larry Ashley

Okeechobee County Sheriff Noel Stephen

Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd

Putnam County Sheriff Gator Deloach, III

Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson

Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight

Seminole County Sheriff Dennis Lemma

St. Johns County Sheriff David Shoar

Sumter County Sheriff Bill Farmer

Suwannee County Sheriff Sam St. John

Taylor County Sheriff Wayne Padgett

Union County Sheriff Brad Whitehead

Volusia County Sheriff Michael Chitwood

Wakulla County Sheriff Jared Miller

Walton County Sheriff Michael Adkinson

Washington County Sheriff Kevin Crews

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a working journalist for over two decades, with bylines in national and local publications alike on subjects ranging from pop music to national and global politics. Gancarski has been a correspondent for since 2014, and has held a column in Jacksonville, Florida's Folio Weekly for two decades. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." Gancarski is a frequent presence on Jacksonville television and radio, including fill-in slots on WJCT-FM's award-winning talk show "First Coast Connect." He can be reached at

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