endorsement Archives - Page 4 of 60 - Florida Politics
Ross Spano

Family Research Council backs Ross Spano for CD 15

The political arm of the Family Research Council announced Wednesday that it’s backing Dover state Rep. Ross Spano’s campaign for Congress.

Spano, currently in his third term representing Hillsborough County’s HD 59, is one of five candidates seeking the Republican nomination in Florida’s 15th Congressional District. When it comes to championing “individual liberties” and “strong family values,” FRC Action PAC said Spano was the top pick.

“As a native Floridian, you have a unique understanding of the issues facing your district and the values important to your constituents. As a small businessman, you have been an advocate for family-friendly tax reform,” FRC Action PAC executive vice president William Boykin wrote in an endorsement letter.

“You have also demonstrated a strong commitment to life, family, and religious freedom, championing religious freedom by voting to protect churches and adoption agencies from being forced to provide services that might violate their deeply held religious convictions,” he continued.

The Family Research Council is a staunchly Christian conservative group that takes hard line stances against abortion and LGBTQ rights and is in favor of increasing the role of Christianity in public life. In addition to endorsements U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, Attorney General Pam Bondi and numerous other Republican politicians, Spano has received the recommendation of another pro-life group, Florida Right to Life.

“I could not be more honored to receive this endorsement from an organization that prioritizes the protection of our shared Conservative values,” Spano said in a press release. “I look forward to continuing this fight on behalf of the constituents in CD15.”

Spano faces former Auburndale state Rep. Neil Combee, Lakeland contractor Sean Harper, Brandon agribusinessman Danny Kushmer and Lakeland mental health practitioner Ed Shoemaker in the primary race. A St. Pete Polls survey released early last month showed him in the lead with nearly 32 percent support.

Spano also leads the primary field in fundraising with $157,068 raised including loans through the end of the second quarter. He had $108,275 banked and $88,025 in campaign debt at the end of that reporting period.

CD 15 is split between Hillsborough and Polk counties, with about 10 percent of the district’s voters living in Lake County. The district voted plus-10 for Donald Trump two years ago and had been considered a safe Republican seat until Ross’ retirement announcement and the subsequent fundraising successes of the Democratic candidates in the race — with the help of self-funding, Lakeland Democrat Kristen Carlson topped the field with nearly $250,000 raised in Q2, while Andrew Learned has raised $223,618 since filing for the seat prior to Ross’ announcement.

That led the political handicappers of at the Cook Political Report to shift their assessment of the race from “likely Republican” to “lean Republican.” Sabato’s Crystal Ball, the prediction newsletter from University of Virginia political science professor Larry Sabato, still lists the district as “likely Republican.

The primary election is Aug. 28.

United Teachers of Dade backs Debbie Mucarsel-Powell in CD 26

United Teachers of Dade (UTD), a union with more than 30,000 members, is backing Debbie Mucarsel-Powell in the Democratic primary for Florida’s 26th Congressional District.

Mucarsel-Powell is competing with former naval officer Demetries Grimes for the nomination. The CD 26 seat is currently held by Republican Carlos Curbelo.

“We believe Debbie will make a difference in Congress by fully funding our public schools, supporting educational policies that put our students first and working to improve the lives of working people,” said UTD president Karla Hernandez-Mats.

“Every day, our teachers are working to improve the lives of over 350,000 children in Miami-Dade County. They deserve a representative who will fight for better schools and to ensure every student has a chance to fulfill their potential.”

The endorsement comes as Mucarsel-Powell launched her first TV spot of the cycle, which puts a spotlight on her immigrant roots and the diversity of the CD 26 community.

The district covers Monroe County and portions of Miami-Dade County. Analysts such as the Cook Political Report and Larry Sabato rate the race as a toss-up.

The CD 26 primaries will take place Aug. 28, followed by the general election Nov. 6.

Jerry Demings gets deputy sheriffs’ union endorsement in Orange mayor’s race

Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings has received the endorsements of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 93 for his quest to be elected Mayor of Orange County.

That lodge represents more than 1,000 of Demings’ current employees: deputies, corporals and sergeants in the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

FOP Lodge 93 President Jeff Stinson announced the endorsement Tuesday in a news release in which he stated, “We have worked alongside Jerry Demings for the last 10 years. We have witnessed first-hand that Jerry Demings can deliver a safer, more productive Orange County as mayor.”

Lodge 93’s backing essentially gives Demings a clean sweep of local FOP posts. He previously picked up the blessings of FOP Lodge 25 representing the Orlando Police Department (which he once headed as chief;) Lodge 86, representing Orange County corrections officers (which he once oversaw as deputy Orange County administrator;) and the FOP District 7 office, which represents 24 lodges in 10 counties including Orange and the neighboring Osceola, Lake, Seminole, and Brevard.

Demings faces Winter Park businessman Rob Panepinto and Orange County Commissioner Pete Clarke in the Aug. 28 election. If no one gets more than half the vote, the top two will move on to a Nov. 6 showdown.

“FOP Lodge 93 and District 7 FOP Lodges are proudly supporting Jerry Demings in the upcoming election for Mayor of Orange County,” Stinson added. “We look forward to continuing our relationship with him and working with him toward solutions to the challenges ahead.”

ashley moody

Florida physicians back Ashley Moody for Attorney General

The Florida Medical Association PAC (FMA PAC) is endorsing former judge and federal prosecutor Ashley Moody in the Republican primary for the Attorney General’s race.

The PAC serves as the political arm of the Florida Medical Association, which represents medical and osteopathic physicians throughout Florida.

“The FMA PAC is proud to endorse former federal judge and prosecutor Ashley Moody as our next Attorney General,” said Dr. Mike Patete, president of FMA PAC.

“Moody has been meeting with our physicians for more than a year, sharing her vision for Florida’s future, and we know she will be a true friend of medicine as Attorney General.”

Moody is competing with Pensacola Rep. Frank White for the Republican nomination in the race. Monday’s announcement that the FMA PAC would be supporting Moody adds the group to a list of recent backers including the Associated Builders and Contractors of Florida and Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera.

“Thank you to the Florida Medical Association’s PAC for their endorsement of my candidacy,” said Moody in response to the endorsement.

“As Attorney General, I will work with the FMA to combat the opioid crisis, prosecute those who prey upon vulnerable Floridians, and eliminate Medicaid fraud.”

Moody has used the state’s matching funds program to help keep pace in a spending war with White, who has brought in more than $4.5 million with the aid of self-funding.

A fresh poll shows White leading Moody by 11 percentage points in the two-way primary race, with one third of likely Republican voters undecided.

The primary election in the AG race will be held Aug. 28.

Steve Cona

Carlos López-Cantera backs Steve Cona for Hillsborough School Board

Steve Cona’s campaign for a seat on the Hillsborough County School board got a boost Monday by way of an endorsement from Lt. Gov. Carlos López-Cantera.

“Steve’s passion for education and the students of Hillsborough County is known statewide, and I’m proud to endorse him for the school board, District 1 seat,” López-Cantera said. “I’ve been impressed with his work to popularize both college and career tracks for students through the creation of Build Tampa Bay, and look forward to seeing him bring his expertise and know-how to improve Hillsborough County Public Schools for the next generation.”

Cona, the president and CEO of the Associated Builders and Contractors Florida Gulf Coast Chapter, is also an executive officer at Build Tampa Bay, a foundation established to encourage high school students to explore careers in the construction industry.

“I’m humbled to receive an endorsement from one of Florida’s most esteemed leaders,” Cona said. “As a father of two kids, both in the public school system, I have seen the work that needs to be done in our school district. We can always do more to ensure our students go from learners to earners and look forward to working with leaders like the Lieutenant Governor to improve our local public schools.”

Though School Board races are nonpartisan, Cona is a Republican who once ran for Hillsborough County Commission. His two major endorsements so far, however, have shown an ability to draw support from both sides of the political spectrum — López-Cantera, a Republican, follows Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, a Democrat, in backing the businessman’s bid.

Cona faces Gil Machin and William Person in the race for District 1, which will be on the 2018 ballot due to current School Board member Susan Valdes opting to run for House District 62 rather than finish out her term.

Person, a retired school district administrator, moved his campaign over from the District 6 race. He ran for the District 1 seat two years ago and came within 267 votes of defeating Valdes. Machin, a retired county social services administrator, appears to be a first-time candidate.

Thus far, Cona is the best-funded of the three candidates with more than $61,000 in receipts and $52,573 in the bank on July 27. Person has the second-best tally, with nearly $46,000 raised and $13,598 in his account, followed by Machin with $13,750 raised and $10,246 at the ready.

District 1 covers northwestern Hillsborough, including part of Tampa and the communities of Egypt Lake, Keystone, Leto, Town ‘n’ Country and Westchase. The winner of the nonpartisan election will serve out the remainder of Valdes’ term, which runs through 2020.

Fraternal Order of Police endorses Javier Enriquez in HD 114

The Florida State Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) is backing challenger Javier Enriquez in House District 114.

Enriquez, a Miami Republican, is trying to unseat Democrat Javier Fernandez, who won the seat in a special election in May of this year.

Now, Enriquez has earned the support of the FOP, a nationwide organization that advocates on behalf of law enforcement officers. FOP represents more than 325,000 members and is made up of more than 2,100 lodges.

“The outstanding men and women in law enforcement who serve our communities day in and day out deserve our gratitude and support,” said Enriquez.

“I’m honored to have FOP’s support in this race, and I look forward to working with them on measures to improve safety and help them do their jobs even better.”

Enriquez graduated from the University of Miami School of Law and works as an attorney, primarily in the area of family law.

HD 114 covers parts of Miami-Dade County including West Miami and Cutler Bay. Both Enriquez and Fernandez are unchallenged in their respective primaries.

Orange Co. firefighters’ union back Anna Eskamani in HD 47 race

Democratic Florida House of Representatives candidate Anna Eskamani has received the endorsement of the Orange County Firefighters Association in her quest to be elected in House District 47, her campaign announced Monday.

“After much careful thought and consideration, our board decided to endorse you based on your strong leadership characteristics, determination and willingness to serve all citizens equally. We have shared our concerns with you regarding the health and safety of our firefighters and are confident you will be able to be our voice in Tallahassee,” Andre Perez, president of  the labor union, also known as the International Association of Firefighters Local 2057, stated in a news release issued by Eskamani’s campaign.

Eskamani, an Orlando nonprofit group executive, also has received the endorsements of the Orlando Professional Firefighters Local 1365, and the Florida Professional Firefighters labor groups.

She is unchallenged in the Aug. 28 Democratic primary. Two Republicans, Winter Park businessman Stockton Reeves VI and Orlando lawyer Mikaela Nix, are vying to meet her in the Nov. 6 election. They seek to replace state Rep. Mike Miller, a Republican from Winter Park who is running for Congress rather than seeking reelection.

The district covers much of north and central Orange County.

“I deeply admire and respect the work of our public safety workers. Firefighters are real life superheroes, and I am committed to ensuring that all public safety workers and emergency responders are protected with strong pensions, fair wages, and good benefits that include support for PTSD. Firefighters also need legislation that would recognize cancer as an occupational hazard, and I look forward to working across the aisle to ensure cancer benefits to those firefighters afflicted with the disease.”

Kathleen Peters

Kathleen Peters gets police union support in Pinellas Commission race

State Rep. Kathleen Peters picked up a nod from the Fraternal Order of Police in her bid for the District 6 seat on the Pinellas County Commission.

“The members of the Fraternal Order of Police have confidence in Kathleen Peters to protect the public and support first responders,” said Tom Porter, the director of FOP’s District 3 Lodge, which includes 15 west central Florida branches of the police union.

The endorsement, announced Friday, comes a couple weeks after Peters locked up a recommendation from the St. Petersburg Association of Fire Fighters. She has also been endorsed by the Sun Coast Police Benevolent Association.

“Having the support of the Fraternal Order of Police is an incredible privilege—these are the men and women who protect our communities every day. Their confidence in my candidacy is a great honor that I will carry with me in service to Pinellas County,” Peters said.

Peters faces state Rep. Larry Ahern and businesswoman Barb Haselden in the Aug. 28 Republican primary for County Commission District 6, the seat that was held by longtime Commissioner John Morroni, who died in May at the age of 63. The seat is currently held by Jay Beyrouti, who was appointed to the vacant seat by Gov. Rick Scott last month.

Recent polling shows Peters with nearly 36 percent support among likely Republican primary voters, giving her a double-digit lead over Ahern, who took second place in the St. Pete Polls survey.

The winner of the Republican primary will move on to a head-to-head against Democrat Amy Kedron in the Nov. 6 general election. Kedron is a political newcomer and the only non-GOP candidate to qualify for the race.

District 6 is the only Pinellas County Commission seat that will be on the ballot this fall as no candidates qualified to challenge incumbent Commissioners Dave Eggers or Pat Gerard. They were both re-elected without opposition on June 22.

The district covers Pinellas Park, Seminole and the bulk of the county’s southwestern shoreline, including Madeira Beach, Treasure Island and St. Pete Beach.

Florida Realtors release third wave of legislative endorsements

Florida Realtors PAC, the political arm of the state’s largest professional trade association, gave its blessing to another five candidates running for state legislative seats in the fall.

Making the cut in the new round of endorsements were five state House candidates, three of them Republicans and two of them Democrats.

In southeastern Hillsborough County’s HD 57, businessman and U.S. Army veteran Sean McCoy got the nod over fellow Republican Mike Beltran and Democratic nominee Debbie Katt. The three are running to succeed Republican Rep. Jake Raburn, who announced in June he would not run for a fourth term in the Republican-leaning district.

In neighboring HD 59, the Florida Realtors picked Dover Republican Joe Wicker in the three-way race to succeed current Rep. Ross Spano, who is competing for the GOP nomination in Florida’s 15th Congressional District. Wicker faces former Hillsborough County commissioner and state Sen. Ronda Storms in the primary, with Riverview Democrat Adam Hattersley waiting to face the winner of that contest in November.

In Tampa-based HD 61, the endorsement went to Democrat Dianne Hart. Hart is running for the seat a second time after losing to Attorney General candidate Sean Shaw by just 101 votes in the 2016 primary for the for the Democratic stronghold. She faces Shaw’s pick, attorney Karen Skyers, as well as Sharon Carter and Norman Harris in the primary, which is one of a handful that will be locked down due to the so-called “write-in loophole.”

Florida Realtors said School Board member Susan Valdes was their pick to succeed House Minority Leader Janet Cruz in HD 62. The nod marks the first significant endorsement for Valdes since she launched her campaign with Cruz’ support, though she has claimed an endorsement from U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, a move that earned her a harsh rebuke from the congresswoman earlier this week. Valdes faces Mike Alvarez and Chris Cano in the Democratic primary, which will also be locked down due to a write-in.

The final endorsement went out to North Fort Myers Republican Spencer Roach, who is vying to succeed Agriculture Commissioner candidate Matt Caldwell in HD 79. He faces Alva Republican Matthew Shawn Miller in the Republican primary. The winner of the GOP nom will face North Fort Myers Democrat Mark Lipton in November, though their victory will be all but assured given the Lee County seat’s deep-red lean.

Florida Realtor’s Friday announcement marks their “third wave” of endorsements for Florida House and Senate races set for the 2018 ballot. Including the first and second waves, the trade association has endorsed legislative candidates in 108 of the 115 races that weren’t decided without opposition.

The trade association has also issued recommendations for four contenders in the statewide races for Governor, Agriculture Commissioner, Attorney General and Chief Financial Officer.

Betty Castor endorses Joy Goff-Marcil in HD 30 race

Former Florida Education Secretary and former University of South Florida President Betty Castor is endorsing Maitland City Councilwoman Joy Goff-Marcil in her quest to be elected to the state House District 30 seat.

“Joy has contributed years at the local level volunteering her time to her community while also working as a mother, lawyer and city councilwoman,” Castor stated in an endorsement note Goff-Marcil posted on Facebook. “She works with everyone to bring better solutions and opportunities to her local schools and community. She will serve her district well.”

Goff-Marcil faces Clark Anderson of Winter Park and Brendan Ramirez of Orlando in the Aug. 28 Democratic primary. The winner takes on Republican incumbent state Rep. Bob Cortes of Alamonte Springs.

Castor’s daughter, Karen Castor-Dentel, was the last Democrat to be elected in HD 30, which covers south Seminole County and a piece of north-central Orange County. Castor-Dentel was elected in 2012 and deated by Cortes in 2014.

Castor’s enorsement follows several other recent endorsements Goff-Marcil has picked up including from Ruth’s List, EMILY’s List and Action Alliance for Progress.

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons