endorsement Archives - Page 2 of 68 - Florida Politics

Hispanic alliance endorses Joe Lopez in Orange Sheriff’s race

The Hispanic Civil Alliance of Central Florida has endorsed retired Florida Highway Patrol Chief Jose “Joe” Lopez in the election for Orange County Sheriff, Lopez’s campaign announced Wednesday.

“Orange County has experienced a rapid cultural development within the past decade, and our community is now more diverse than it has ever been,” Angel Cepero, chairman of the alliance, stated in a news release issued by Lopez’s campaign. “With that being said, we as the residents of Orange County need someone to flourish this great cultural diversification.”

Lopez is facing Orlando Police Chief John Mina and Darryl Sheppard, CEO of an Orlando venture-capital firm, in the Nov. 6 election to replace Sheriff Jerry Demings, who is resigning to become Orange County Mayor. The winner will serve the last two years of Demings’ unexpired term, and then have to run again in 2020.

Cepero said the board members’ decision to endorse Lopez cited his dedication to safety and betterment of the community.

“I”m honored to receive the Hispanic Civil Alliance Alliance of Central Florida’s endorsement and it reflects that the community as a whole supports me to serve as the next people’s sheriff,” Lopez stated in the release. “I look forward to building bridges and restoring the relationship between law enforcement and the community through trust and engagement. Working together we can tackle the issues from violent crime to safety for our school children and truly make a difference.”

Anna Eskamani nabs Barack Obama nod, spins Republican hits into video

Democratic Anna Eskamani announced the endorsement Monday of former President Barack Obama of her Florida House campaign while also releasing a new internet video that spins Republican attack ads, seeking to make her look like a super hero.

Eskamani, who faces Republican Stockton Reeves for the open House District 47 seat to represent much of central Orange County, has been the subject of attack mailers and a cable-TV commercial denouncing her use of profanity on the campaign trail, as Republicans seek to paint her as someone unfit for office.

The new one-minute, 15-second video, “Florida’s Avenger”, is directed to have the feel of a trailer for a super hero movie, starring Eskamani. The term “avenger” is borrowed not just from the super hero movie franchise but also from the Time magazine cover, earlier this year, which featured Eskamani among women candidates the magazine declared to be “The Avengers.”

It defiantly shows off the Republian mailers, and a couple of news items reporting that the Republican Party of Florida is seeking to convince voters that she is not the type of person they want representing them in Tallahassee. Those shots are interspersed with video clips and pictures of Eskamani leading protests, speaking at events and campaigning.

There also is some campaign platform messaging on education, the environment and health care.

“Anna Eskamani, the only candidate in House District 47 who is a proven fighter for working families, taking on the insiders, speaking truth to power, even when they don’t like it. This November, chose a candidate who won’t back down, a candidate who has support from Democrats, independents and Republicans, someone who will always listen, always stand up for Central Florida,” a narrator says.

“And,” the narrator adds, “it’s true, will not take any… .”

That sentence ends there, after a close up of a Republican mailer quoting Eskamani as saying, “I don’t take s— ever” and “Look at the s— we have to put up with”, with the last three letters after the s blacked out

As for the endorsement of the past Democratic president, she stated in a press release from her campaign, “As a former state legislator himself, President Obama recognizes the importance of electing strong leaders at the state level. “Our 44th President inspires me each day to be a compassionate and bold leader for our community, and to fight for Florida’s hard working families. This distinction will only fuel our fire to win and give the people of House District 47 the representation they deserve.”

Andrew Gillum focuses on equal citizenship rights in Puerto Rico

Now that he’s acepted the endorsement of Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló in the heart of Florida’s Puerto Rican community in Kissimmee, Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum sought Monday to differentiate himself from Republicans led by his opponent Ron DeSantis, starting with a firm call for equality.

Rosselló hustled Monday from an endorsement rally in Orlando for re-election of Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson against Republican Gov. Rick Scott to a rally in Kissimmee to support Gillum’s election against DeSantis,

As he did so, Republicans quickly responded with their own pronouncements in support of Puerto Rico Monday, for the work Scott had done and commitments DeSantis had made, with backing from, among others, the island’s lieutenant governor, member of Congress, and Republican state Rep. Bob Cortes of Altamonte Springs, who helped push through several plans last fall to assist Puerto Rican refugees.

Monday’s activity showed how critical both parties see the Puerto Rican vote in Florida.

Equal citizen rights is a rallying cry for many on and from the island, who see that island residents get less Medicare and Medicaid benefits, were hit with a new tax liability in last year’s Republican-pushed tax cut law, saw the first round of hurricane and natural disaster legislation get approved in the U.S. House of Representives without money for Puerto Rico, and were left feeling the federal relief effort lacked the focus, commitment and care seen in the efforts offered for Florida and Texas last year.

Both Gillum and Nelson emphasized the need for equal rights for American citizens in Puerto Rico compared with those stateside, something Rosselló also pushed when he announced why he chose to back Nelson over Scott, and Gillum over DeSantis.

“Andrew’s message, it is a message of equality,” Rosselló said. “It is the commitment that every U.S. citizen should be treated the same.”

That’s where Gillum entered Monday, with far less record in the past than Nelson or Scott in addressing Puerto Rico, and perhaps more or less on equal footing with DeSantis in comparison of activity to address Puerto Ricans’ concerns. Gillum’s focus on equality is what sets him apart, Rosselló said.

Equality has been a theme of Gillum’s campaign since he first announced his candidacy in early 2017, and on Monday he sought to bridge the similar struggles of the underprivileged communities in Florida, from which he came, and those of Puerto Rico.

“Guess what, ya’ll? I’m here to ask to be the candidate for governor that is the candidate choice for the Boricua right here in the state of Florida. I want that label! I want that label! Gillum said. “And I want it not in a tokenizing way. I want it in a way that says we understand one another, that we know what it means to fight for every inch, every square inch, for every mile of what we get. You’re not gifting us anything. We work for what we got.

“I want my living experience here in the state of Florida to say, ‘You know what? That is our shared experience,'” Gillum continued. “When I talk about a job where people can work and earn a livable wage, I’m talking about my mother and my father.”

Gillum began by pointing to efforts by Florida’s only member of Congress who is of Puerto Rican descent, Democratic U.S. Rep. Darren Soto of Celebration, who stood by his side at both rallies.

“This man is also a champion of just saying, ‘Don’t treat us like the third world!’ We’re American citizens, and we deserve respect, and the dignity that comes with humanity,” Gillum declared.

Ricardo Rosselló endorses Bill Nelson in Florida’s U.S. Senate race

Declaring he wanted to stand with a friend of Puerto Rico who has supported the island and its people for a long time, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló came to Orlando Monday to endorse Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson for re-election over Republican Gov. Rick Scott.

Rosselló, whose endorsement is expected to carry significant weight in Central Florida’s burgeoning Puerto Rican community, also announced Monday that he is endorsing Democratic Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum in the Florida gubernatorial race.

The two endorsements ended some suspense and even offered mild surprise as Rosselló had worked closely with Scott — and Nelson — in recovery efforts for the past year after Florida came to help Puerto Rico both politically and practically after the island was devastated by Hurricane Maria.

It also sparked some anger and frustration from some Florida Republicans who had worked hard to make sure Florida, including Scott, addressed Puerto Rico as a sister in need, and now fear the island’s government could lose with the Republican-led Florida government. State Rep. Bob Cortes, Hispanic outreach liaison for Republican gubernatorial nominee Ron DeSantis‘ campaign, called Rosselló’s endorsement “treacherous” considering all that Scott and Republicans had done.

On Monday Rosselló said it was a tough decision to endorse Nelson because he considered Scott to also be a friend of the island’s residents. but he said in the end he went with Nelson because of his longstanding relationship.

Rosselló and Nelson also spoke to the clear partisan divide on Capitol Hill regarding Puerto Rico, as the Republican tax cuts bill passed at the end 0f 2017 slapped the island with new tax liabilities, which Rosselló said made a desperate economy less competitive; and for the U.S. House’s passage of a disasters bill that had no money in it for Puerto Rico until the Senate, behind Nelson’s push, forced it into the final bill.

In response, Scott’s campaign put out a press release reminding that he also has received many Puerto Rican endorsements, including those of the island’s U.S. Rep. Jennifer Gonzalez-Colon, former Gov. Luis Fortuno, and current Lt. Gov. Luis Rivera Marin.

Rosselló also announced his endorsement of the re-election of Democratic U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy of Winter Park. He previously had endorsed Democratic U.S. Rep. Darren Soto. Murphy is running against Republican state Rep. Mike Miller of Winter  Park.

Former President Barack Obama endorses Andrew Gillum

Is there a bigger ‘get’? President Barack Obama announced Monday he’s supporting Andrew Gillum to become Florida’s first African-American Governor.

“Andrew is a proven fighter with the courage and determination to stand up for Florida families,” Obama said in a statement supporting the Tallahassee Mayor. “As Governor, Andrew will expand access to affordable health care, protect Floridians with pre-existing conditions, invest in education, protect the environment and build an economy that works for all.”

Obama, whose legacy is in part marked by the passage of the Affordable Care Act, commended Gillum’s stances on health care, saying, “Andrew believes that healthcare is a right, not a privilege, and he will make expanding Medicaid a priority on day one as governor.”

Responded Gillum: “As Governor, we’ll build on his legacy by making healthcare a right, not a privilege, investing in our children’s education, and protecting the environment for our future generation of Floridians.”

He also commended Gillum’s tenure as mayor of the state’s capital city.

The former President’s support was announced on Monday in his second wave of midterm election endorsements. Joining Gillum were running mate Chris King and U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, who also received on Monday the endorsement of Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló. Rosselló also is expected to endorse Gillum later on Monday.

Other down-ballot candidates also received nods from Obama. According to the former president’s press office, he’s weighed in on 260 midterm races this cycle.

“The Democratic Party has always made the biggest difference in the lives of the American people when we lead with conviction, principle, and bold, new ideas,” Obama said in a statement announcing the endorsements. “Our incredible array of candidates up and down the ticket, all across the country, make up a movement of citizens who are younger, more diverse, more female than ever before.”

He added that he was “eager to continue making the case for why they deserve our votes this November.”

Also included in the endorsement wave: Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy and Democratic congressional hopefuls Nancy Soderberg, Stephanie MurphyChris Hunter,  Lauren Baer and Debbie MucarselPowell.

Soderberg, who faces Republican Michael Waltz in the race for Florida’s 6th Congressional District, said she was “excited” to have Obama backing her Congressional campaign.

“I am deeply honored to have earned the support of President Obama who has been an extraordinary testament to what we can achieve when we work together to live out our American values,” she said. “President Obama continues to inspire millions in this country and around the world with his vision of and work to build a more inclusive society that enables all of us to reach our full potential.”

In races for state Senate seats, Obama announced endorsements for Sen. Annette Taddeo, along with Senate candidates Kayser Enneking, Janet Cruz, Bob Doyel, Lindsay Cross and David Perez.

In the House, incumbents Margaret Good, Nick Duran and Javier Fernandez received 44’s backing. So too did candidates Anna Eskamani, Fentrice Driskell and Emma Collum.

To Florida House Victory, a the state legislative arm of the Florida Democratic Party, those endorsements signal that the down-ballot races are getting national attention.

“President Barack Obama’s endorsement of Florida House Victory candidates goes to show that the success of Democrats in the state House is a crucial part of moving Florida forward,” said Marisol Samayoa, spokesperson for Florida House Victory. “As a former state legislator himself, President Obama recognizes the role that legislatures can play as the first line of defense against Republican attacks on health care, public education, and the environment.”

Stephanie Murphy picks up two more business groups’ endorsements

The campaign of Democratic U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy announced Friday she has received the endorsements of business groups representing veterans who own businesses and women who own businesses, backing her quest for re-election in Florida’s 7th Congressional District.

The endorsements from the Florida Association of Veteran Owned Businesses and the National Association of Women Business Owners joins the support Murphy’s re-election campaign announced earlier this week from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and that announced previously from the Orlando Area Chamber of Commerce.

Murphy faces Republican state Rep. Mike Miller of Winter Park in the Nov. 6 election for CD 7, which covers Seminole County and north and central Orange County.

“During her tenure in Congress, Congresswoman Murphy has worked tirelessly for veterans and veteran-owned businesses, reaching across the aisle and working to get things done for the benefit of our nation’s veterans and Central Florida’s veterans in particular,” the veteran business owners’ group said in a statement released Friday by Murphy’s campaign. “We commend Congresswoman Murphy for viewing veteran issues as American issues and not through the lens of partisan politics.”

The business groups’ blessings are uncommon for a Democrat, and Murphy, of Winter Park, has been touting them as indicative of her moderate Democratic platform in a district that is very purple. Murphy won the district in 2016, flipping it. Republicans are trying to flip it back this year, but she is drawing praise from a typical bedrock of the Republican base, the business community.

“From her personal experience in business, to her current work on the U.S. House Small Business Committee, Congresswoman Murphy is a tireless advocate for women business owners,” Molly Gimmel, NAWBO national board chair stated in an announcement posted on the group’s website. “She utilizes her understanding of the obstacles and opportunities women business owners face to discern the best policies and paths forward for the women business owner community and she does so in a bipartisan manner. We are proud to endorse her campaign for re-election.”

Ashley Moody

Florida Chamber endorses Ashley Moody for Attorney General

The Florida Chamber of Commerce announced Friday it was endorsing Republican candidate Ashley Moody for Attorney General.

The group made the announcement during a live stream on the Florida Chamber’s Facebook page and followed up with a post on Twitter.

“I believe that I am meant to do this, and can do this, and will make you proud of your support,” Moody said in a speech accepting the endorsement.

Bob Grammig, chair of the Florida Chamber Board of Directors and a partner at Holland & Knight law firm, introduced Moody before she spoke at the event.

Moody spent three years as an associate at Holland & Knight’s Tampa office before her time as a judge.

Chamber board member and former House Speaker Will Weatherford of Weatherford Capital was on hand as well, along with Florida Chamber President and CEO Mark Wilson.

Moody also made comments about the importance of Florida’s criminal justice system, with words that could have applied to the ongoing debate over the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.

“The strength of the system hinges on its fairness and balance. And the credibility of opinions issued is only as strong as people give them viability because they know the system is fair.”

The former judge and prosecutor also issued a jab at her opponents in the race, Democratic opponent and state Rep. Sean Shaw and non-party affiliated candidate Jeffrey Marc Siskind.

“This is not the time in Florida to have someone at the helm as chief legal officer, top prosecutor, who has never prosecuted a case.”

Recent polling shows Moody with a slight lead in the race. A survey in late August had her leading Shaw by three points, while a poll earlier this month pegged Moody’s lead at just two.

Shaw recently made multiple announcements on the team surrounding him, naming members to his “General Election Finance Committee,” as well as adding former Gwen Graham and Alex Sink staffers to his campaign.

DeSantis Florida Chamber

Florida Chamber stands ‘firmly behind’ Ron DeSantis for Governor

On Thursday, the Florida Chamber of Commerce officially endorsed Republican gubernatorial nominee Ron DeSantis, saying he would continue the success that the Sunshine State has undergone under exiting Gov. Rick Scott.

“As president of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, my top job is to secure the future of this state,” said Chamber head Mark Wilson. “ … Other states want to be like Florida. We have a big choice in the fall.”

Also on-hand for the Orlando news conference was past Florida Chamber chairwoman Glenda Hood and former House Speaker Will Weatherford. Both emphasized that they and the Chamber were “firmly” behind DeSantis’ bid for the Governor’s Mansion.

“I’ve seen what it’s like when this state has good leadership. Florida has had eight years of good leadership under Rick Scott,” Weatherford said. “The Florida Chamber stands firmly behind Ron DeSantis.”

In accepting the endorsement, DeSantis made the case that he’ll continue the tax cuts and job growth that Florida experienced under Scott. He also threw plenty of jabs at his Democratic opponent, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum.

“I’m the only veteran running for Governor, and apparently I may be the only capitalist running,” the former Congressman said.

DeSantis hit Gillum on his proposed corporate tax hike from 5.5 percent to 7.75 percent to generate $1 billion for the state’s education budget. The Ponte Vedra Republican then touted the tax reform bill passed by Congress and his policy proposals if elected to lead the Sunshine State — from boosting vocational education to improving water quality.

“Our environment is really the foundation of Florida’s economic engine,” he said.

State Rep. Jeanette Nuñez, DeSantis’ pick for Lieutenant Governor, also gave her stump speech for the Republican ticket, saying she and DeSantis were the best option in every metric.

“We firmly believe we’re the ticket that’s going to continue to push Florida forward,” she said. “ … We’re not just the best choice for Florida, we’re the only choice.”

The Chamber’s endorsement comes after their unwavering support for Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam in the Republican primary. DeSantis defeated Putnam by 20 points last month.

As DeSantis was accepting the Chamber nod, Orlando Democratic Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith was nearby to protest against DeSantis’ “dangerous record of voting to rip away health care from millions of Floridians in order to give massive tax cuts to corporate special interests.”

Smith was an early backer of Gillum, endorsing him during the early phase of the Democratic primary.

Anna Eskamani

Anna Eskamani gets backing of school administrators’ group

Democrat Anna Eskamani has picked up the endorsement of the Florida Association of School Administrators’ Political Action Committee for her campaign to be elected in Florida House District 47, her campaign announced Wednesday.

The association represents nearly 5,000 superintendents, principals, assistant principals, and district-level administrators throughout Florida.

“The Florida Association of School Administrators PAC is pleased to endorse your candidacy for the Florida State House of Representatives as the candidate who will represent the best interests of the children of Florida, not only in your district, but throughout the state,” M. Junan Mixon, the PAC’s executive director, stated in a news release issued by Eskamani’s campaign. “We look forward to your ongoing support throughout your time in office.”

Eskamani, of Orlando, faces Republican nominee Stockton Reeves of Winter Park in the HD 47 election to represent much of north and central Orange County including downtown Orlando. The incumbent Republican state Rep. Mike Miller is running for Congress.

“As a proud graduate of Orange County Public Schools, I am honored to have the endorsement of the Florida Association of School Administrators PAC,” Eskamani stated in the release. “I have a long track record in protecting public education, and supporting policies that enhance the learning environment for faculty, staff, students, and parents. I will never support the arming of our teachers, and will fight for full funding of public education, including better teacher pay, on-site security, and meaningful mental health resources.”

U.S. Chamber endorses Stephanie Murphy in CD 7

Citing a bipartisan voting record and legislative efforts on behalf of small-business owners and entrepreneurs, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Wednesday endorsed Democratic U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy for re-election, her campaign announced.

The endorsement of a Democratic lawmaker is rare for the national chamber, especially in a competitive district. This announcement comes at the expense of Republican nominee state Rep. Mike Miller of Winter Park, Murphy’s opponent in this year’s election for Florida’s 7th Congressional District.

“Congresswoman Murphy understands what it takes to start, grow, and turn around a business in America, which is why she has shown such strong leadership on issues like infrastructure, immigration, and investing in small businesses,” Ken Johnson, executive director of congressional and public affairs for the U.S. Chamber, said in a news release from Murphy’s campaign. “Stephanie is willing to work across the aisle, and has a proven bipartisan record in Congress of supporting entrepreneurs and small business owners.”

The national chamber’s endorsement comes a week after Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce presented Murphy with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Spirit of Enterprise Award, citing her bipartisan voting record of supporting pro-growth policies in Congress, her campaign reported.

In Congress, Murphy serves on the House Small Business Committee and as ranking member of its subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce.

Murphy’s husband, Sean Murphy, is a small-business man, and she has worked as a business consultant.

Her CD 7 covers Seminole County and north and central Orange County.

“As someone who fled communism, I am a firm defender of free enterprise in this country because I know the alternative, and it isn’t pretty,” Murphy, whose family fled Vietnam when she was a child, stated in the release. “I’ve consulted well-established companies and counseled small startups, so I understand the challenges and opportunities facing businesses in America. I will keep working with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to create more and better-paying jobs in Central Florida, to keep the spirit of enterprise alive, and to pass pro-growth policies that strengthen the middle class and lift people out of poverty.”

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