Land O’ Lakes Republican Ardian Zika announced Monday that two chapters of the Florida Police Benevolent Association have endorsed his bid to succeed House Speaker Richard Corcoran in Pasco County’s House District 37.
“The West Central Florida Political Benevolent Association and the Tampa Police Benevolent Association is proud to inform you of our endorsement for your candidacy for State House Representative, District 37,” West Central Florida PBA president Nick Marolda and Tampa PBA president Abe Carmack said in a joint statement.
The two PBA chapters join the Pasco County branch of the Fraternal Order of Police in backing Zika, a businessman who immigrated to the U.S. from Kosovo in the 1990s. He has also been endorsed Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco, who announced his support alongside Pasco Tax Collector Mike Fasano in May.
“I am honored to have the endorsement of the women and men of law enforcement, who put their lives on the line each and every day, for us,” said Ardian Zika. “Our community respects, values and trusts these law enforcement professionals and I am humbled to have earned their confidence and support. No one will fight harder for law enforcement, first responders and their families in our state capitol.”
Zika faces Ryan Patrick Boney and Elle Rudisill in the Republican Primary, while Tammy Garcia has already locked up the Democratic nomination.
As of July 6, Zika held a massive lead in the money race with more than $195,000 raised and nearly $168,000 in the bank. No other candidate has cracked the $15,000 mark in total fundraising.
HD 37 covers the majority of inland Pasco County, including the communities of Land O’ Lakes, Odessa, Heritage Pines, Shady Hills, Meadow Oaks and Moon Lake. It is a safe Republican seat.