U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio has now added his support to another statewide race, announcing he’s backing Jimmy Patronis for re-election as Florida’s Chief Financial Officer.
Rubio previously stepped into the race for Agriculture Commissioner as well, backing Matt Caldwell in the primary, even hitting the campaign trail on his behalf.
Caldwell went on to win the Republican nomination. Now, Rubio hopes he can do the same for Patronis in November’s general election.
“Today, I am pleased to announce my support and strong endorsement for Jimmy Patronis to remain Florida’s Chief Financial Officer,” Rubio said in a statement released Tuesday.
“Jimmy Patronis is someone voters can trust to effectively manage our state’s finances. Through his unwavering dedication to protecting Florida consumers and instrumental advocacy on behalf of our first responders, he has earned our vote this November.”
Patronis is taking on Democratic nominee Jeremy Ring for the job. Patronis, a longtime Rick Scott supporter, was appointed to the position last year after former CFO Jeff Atwater resigned.
“It is an absolute honor to receive the backing of Senator Marco Rubio in my bid to continue serving as the CFO of Florida,” Patronis said of the endorsement.
“His leadership as both Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives and now in the U.S. Senate has been invaluable to our state.”
The battle between Patronis and Ring has already gotten heated. Patronis’ campaign released a report last week from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement showing a Democratic researcher attempted to pose as Patronis to access his personal information.
Ring responded with an ad calling Patronis the state’s “Chief Fraud Officer,” about a previous incident where Patronis crashed a state vehicle en route to his political consultant. Patronis reportedly only reimbursed the state after his agency faced questioning from POLITICO.
Nonetheless, Patronis feels confident of his chances on Nov. 6. He’s already gathered a substantial lead over Ring in the fundraising race, and says Rubio’s endorsement will only help his chances of earning a full term in the CFO spot.
“Because of the hard work of Florida’s conservative leaders, we have an economy that is prospering. Together, Senator Rubio and I will continue this momentum.”