Tampa Republican Sen. Dana Young announced Tuesday that she’d locked up the support of the Florida State Lodge Fraternal Order of Police in her campaign for a second term in Senate District 18.
“We believe in Senator Young and have voted her the 2018 Senator of The Year, there is no doubt that she will continue to serve her community and her constituents fairly, with a focus on safety and prosperity,” said FOP President Bobby Jenkins.
“The Fraternal Order of Police have worked hand and hand with Senator Young and have given her our continued faith in her dedication to her community and to the men and women of law enforcement.”
The Florida FOP joins the Florida Police Benevolent Association and the Tampa, West Central Florida and Suncoast chapters of the PBA to become the fifth police union to announce its support for Young, who is being challenged by House Minority Leader Janet Cruz in the fall.
“I sincerely thank the FOP for their endorsement and am grateful for their support of my campaign,” Young said. “Every day, our law enforcement puts their lives on the line to ensure Floridians remain safe – my appreciation for the work they do cannot be put into words.”
“As an advocate for our law enforcement, I have fought to protect our men and women in blue, and I look forward to the opportunity to continue to advocate for our Tampa and Florida law enforcement community,” said Senator Young.
SD 18 is a top target for Florida Democrats in 2018. It is the only Senate district on FDP’s priority list that voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election and Cruz is by far the best-known recruit the party has pulled to challenge a sitting Republican senator.
Recent polls of the race show the two lawmakers in a tight race, with a slight advantage for Cruz.
Where Young holds an unquestionable edge is the money race. As of June 22, the Tampa Republican had $309,000 banked for her campaign account. She also tacked on another $77,000 in the last week of June for her political committee, Friends of Dana Young, which now has $1.05 million on hand.
Cruz, meanwhile, has about $139,231 in hard money and another $256,583 in her political committee, Building the Bay PC, for an on-hand total of nearly $396,000.
They are the only two candidates in the race. The general election is Nov. 6.