endorsement Archives - Page 5 of 68 - Florida Politics

Wayne Liebnitzky endorsed by former Puerto Rico senator

Republican congressional candidate Wayne Liebnitzky has received the endorsement of former Puerto Rico Sen. Miriam Ramirez in his quest to be elected in Florida’s 9th Congressional District, which has a large population of Puerto Rican residents, his campaign announced.

Ramirez, a medical doctor, had a long career in public health and politics in Puerto Rico including a term in the Puerto Rico Senate from 2000-’04, before moving to Florida. Most recently, until 2013, she served as Federal, Health and Legislative Affairs Advisor to then-San Juan Mayo Jorge Santini, Mayor of San Juan. She continues as an active advocate for Puerto Rico statehood from Florida.

In the Nov. 6 election, Liebnitzky, of St. Cloud, is facing Democratic incumbent U.S. Rep. Darren Soto, who in 2016 became the first Florida congressman of Puerto Rican heritage. Soto defeated Liebnitzky in that 2016 election.

CD 9 covers Osceola County, south Orange County and east Polk County, all areas with large and growing populations of Puerto Ricans. The area was ground zero for the migration of people fleeing Puerto Rico last year after Hurricane Maria devestated the island almost a year ago.

janet cruz

Bob Buckhorn endorses Janet Cruz for state Senate

House Minority Leader Janet Cruz added an endorsement from Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn for her campaign to oust incumbent Republican Sen. Dana Young in northwestern Hillsborough’s Senate District 18.

“Janet is a proven leader, a fighter for working families, and a tireless advocate for public education,” Buckhorn said. “As a member of the Florida House, Rep. Cruz brought back $14 million to Hillsborough Community College, spearheaded Equal Pay for Equal Work legislation, and sponsored legislation that raised police and fire survivor benefits within the City of Tampa to 100 percent.

“As your next Senator, she will continue to fight for what’s right while being laser focused on what’s best for our district,” he said.

Buckhorn joins some of the state’s biggest unions in backing Cruz, who currently represents House District 62. Past endorsements have come in from the Florida Education Association, the state’s largest teacher union, and the Florida AFL-CIO, which represents more than 1 million Florida workers.

“Mayor Buckhorn is a true visionary and I am honored to have his support,” Cruz said. “Under his leadership, Tampa is thriving. Corporations are choosing to relocate here, and the Riverwalk is flourishing with new businesses, while connecting Channelside to the Heights.

“From the Super Bowl to the NHL All Star Game to the Women’s Final Four, Tampa is now a national destination that we all get to enjoy. I look forward to continue working with him to make Tampa the best place in Florida to live, work, and play for everyone,” she concluded.

SD 18 sits atop the Florida Democratic Party’s wish list this fall. Other than South Florida’s SD 36, where David Perez won the Democratic primary to challenge Republican Rep. Manny Diaz, SD 18 is the only district Democrats are after that voted for Hillary Clinton two years ago.

As of Aug. 23, Young held a large lead in fundraising with more than $455,000 in hard money on hand and another $1.27 million at the ready in her affiliated political committee, Friends of Dana Young. By comparison, Cruz had $189,000 in hard money and another $330,000 in her political committee, Building the Bay PC.

Cruz and Young both went unopposed in last week’s primary elections. Unlike two years ago, when Young won a plurality of the vote against three challengers, Cruz and Young are the only candidates to make the ballot in 2018.

Election Day is Nov. 6.

Jimmy Patronis gets Marco Rubio’s endorsement for CFO

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.”

Andrew Gillum

Equality Florida’s PAC endorses Andrew Gillum for Governor

Equality Florida Action PAC, the political arm of the state’s leading LGBTQ rights organization, announced Friday that it’s backing Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum over his Republican opponent, U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis.

“Andrew Gillum has been a consistent champion for LGBTQ equality, and Floridians will see the stark contrast between his record on equality and his opponent who has embraced the anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and policies of the Trump-Pence administration,” Equality Florida Action PAC chair Stratton Pollitzer said.

“DeSantis is out of touch with the values of everyday Floridians, 70 percent of whom support nondiscrimination protections for the LGBTQ community. Mayor Gillum has committed to advancing Florida as a leader for LGBTQ equality in the South, making the state a welcome place for everyone to live, work, and visit,” Pollitzer said.

The EQFL nod comes after the group awarded Gillum its highest honor, the “Voice for Equality Award,” in 2017.

But the endorsement isn’t all Gillum can expect from the group — they plan to pitch in with a fundraising tour and a “massive campaign” to spread the word to 500,000 Florida voters who see LGBTQ rights as a major factor in whether they’ll cast a ballot on Election Day.

EQFL said that means Gillum, who defied all polling by winning the five-way primary Tuesday, will be the beneficiary of digital media buys, phone banking and field outreach.

“Andrew Gillum is the equality champion who can energize voters and win the Governor’s Mansion,” Pollitzer concluded.

Equality Florida is the second major statewide group to endorse Gillum, currently the mayor of Tallahassee, since he won the nomination.

On Thursday, he earned the support of AFSCME, a labor union that represents more than 1.6 million working and retired public employees.

A full list of candidates backed by Equality Florida Action PAC is available on the group’s website.

According to the first post-primary poll of the general election matchup, Gillum leads DeSantis 48-43 percent with only 9 percent of voters unsure of who they would vote for. The poll also found Gillum with a plus-27 favorability rating while DeSantis, who has the backing of President Donald Trump, was underwater.

Election Day is Nov. 6

Florida Police Chiefs Association backs John Mina in Orange County sheriff race

Florida police chiefs are backing one of their own, Orlando’s John Mina, in the election for Orange County Sheriff, calling him a role model in law enforcement.

The Flordia Police Chiefs Association, which represents more than 900 of the state’s top law enforcement executives, backed Mina over former Florida Highway Patrol Chief Jose “Joe” Lopez and Darryl Sheppard, according to a new release issued Thursday by Mina’s campaign.

In backing Mina, the police chiefs’ group referenced his leadership during and after the 2016 massacre of 49 people at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub. That year the organization awarded Mina its top declaration, the “Outstanding Chief Executive Award.”

“Chief John Mina has been tested in a way no police chief should ever have to be tested during the Pulse tragedy and its aftermath,” FPCA Executive Director Amy Mercer stated in the release. “His professionalism and steady hand showed what kind of leader he is. In those moments of doubt, John Mina and the Orlando Police Department served as the rock the community needed to find peace and feel safe again.

“Mina is recognized as a role model in law enforcement for the community policing standards Orlando implemented to build stronger relationships between officers and the communities they serve,” Mercer added. “The FPCA is proud to endorse John Mina for Orange County sheriff.”

FPCA serves municipal police departments, airport police, college and university police, and tribal police, private business and security firms, as well as federal, state and county law enforcement agencies.

The Orange County sheriff election and office are partisan, but partisan distinctions are complicated this year. Both Mina and Lopez changed their party affiliations from Republican to Democrat in 2017, but they each did so too late to qualify to run for office this year as Democrats. So both are running as independents. Sheppard then won the Democratic nomination by default. No Republicans are running this year.

“The Florida Police Chiefs Association is one of the most respected law enforcement organizations in the United States. To be endorsed by the great men and women who make up the FPCA is an honor,” Mina stated in the release. “As the next sheriff of Orange County, I will continue to uphold the ideals and professionalism of the Florida Police Chiefs Association.”

Bill Posey gets behind Wayne Liebnitzky in CD 9 race

U.S. Rep. Bill Posey is endorsing fellow Republican Wayne Liebnitzky in his campaign to be elected to Florida’s 9th Congressional District, which includes a broad swath of voters Posey once represented.

Liebnitzky is taking on Democratic U.S. Rep. Darren Soto this fall.

Posey’s Florida’s 8th Congressional District covers Brevard County, Indian River County, and east Orange County, while CD 9 covers south Orange, Osceola and eastern Polk counties. Before redistricting, much of what is now in CD 9 was inside Posey’s district.

In a letter to Liebnitzky, Posey recounts that when he first ran he lost the vote in Osceola County, and he was told residents there were not satisfied with the representation they had received over time from their previous representative. “Over the next years, I worked very hard to properly represent them and earn their trust. In the next election, Osceola County voters gave me 4,849 more votes than my opponent!

“Because I know you will work just as hard to represent my former constituents and friends in Osceola County,” Posey wrote, “I am pleased to give you my most enthusiastic endorsement.”

Lois Frankel endorses Gwen Graham in West Palm Beach

U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel had two messages for voters Tuesday at a West Palm Beach event for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gwen Graham:

Make sure you remember to vote before the polls close and when you do, make sure it’s for Graham.

Frankel, who represents Florida’s 21st Congressional District, formally endorsed Graham at Tuesday’s get-out-the-vote event outside City Hall.

Despite a steady stream of showers threatening to interrupt the event, Frankel and other Graham supporters were resolute about the importance of today’s election.

“It’s time to end 20 years of Republican rule in Tallahassee,” Frankel said. “I know she’s been surging in the polls but we can’t take a single thing for granted.”

Recent polls have shown Graham with leads of various sizes heading into Tuesday’s vote. But Graham said the only thing that matters is the decision voters make on Election Day.

“Please get out and vote. I would be honored to have your support,” Graham added.

Graham is competing with Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, Palm Beach billionaire Jeff Greene, Winter Park entrepreneur Chris King, and former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine.

But Frankel argued the other Democrats won’t be as effective standing up on major issues such as abortion rights, gun control and pushing back against the President’s actions.

“Trust me, I have seen the dangerous policies of Donald Trump,” Frankel said. She says Graham is the best candidate “to protect us here at home.”

“My commitment to this state every single day in this race has been to listen and to learn from the people of Florida to have the information necessary when we’re Governor to work up every day working hard for the people of Florida,” Graham said.

“Now let’s go out and win this.”

Donald Trump offers one more tweet-seal of approval for Ron DeSantis

President Donald Trump sent a reminder to the world Monday that Republican U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis is his man in Florida’s Republican gubernatorial primary, tweeting that DeSantis has “my full and total Endorsement.”

“Congressman Ron DeSantis is a special person who has done an incredible job. He is running in Tuesdays Primary for Governor of Florida….Strong on Crime, Borders and wants Low Taxes. He will be a great Governor and has my full and total Endorsement!” Trump tweeted.

DeSantis faces Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, and Putnam was leading in virtually all polls until Trump made his endorsemen of DeSantis official in late June, and DeSantis has been leading comfortably in most polls ever since.

With loyalty toward and support for and from Trump being a major factor in all Republican races, Trump has been pouring it on for DeSantis. On Sunday, DeSantis began robocalls in which Trump was offering a similar full-thrated endorsement for DeSantis.

Bill Nelson endorses Jerry Demings in Orange mayoral race

Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson has endorsed Jerry Demings to become Orange County’s next Mayor, Demings campaign announced.

Demings, the Orange County Sheriff, is facing businessman Rob Panepinto and Orange County Commissioner Pete Clarke in the non-partisan election Tuesday.

“Jerry Demings is a trusted, respected leader who has spent his career keeping the people of Central Florida safe as a Sheriff and as Orlando Police Chief,” Nelson stated in a news release issued by Demings campaign. “During his decades of service, Sheriff Demings has built coalitions to strengthen our community.”

Nelson’s endorsement comes just before Tuesday’s election. If no one gets more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two will advance to a Nov. 6 election showdown.

Overkill? Ron DeSantis gets last-minute support via Donald Trump robocall

A new robocall is going out to Florida Republicans with “an important message from President Donald Trump.”

Trump weighed on the Republican primary for Governor early, and in June redoubled his support for U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis in his bid to topple the two-decade political career of Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and succeed term-limited Republican Gov. Rick Scott.

In the new call, Trump again makes his case for the Ponte Vedra Republican.

The call, possibly overkill, comes after recent polls of the Republican primary showing the third-term Congressman swamping Polk County’s favorite son by more than 20 points.


After introducing himself, Trump says “my friend, Ron DeSantis, is running for Governor of the great state of Florida.”

“I love Florida. I fully endorse Ron in tomorrow’s election. Ron is a strong, solid conservative. He stood with me to build the wall, which is under construction right now, fight crime and cut taxes — all things that we’re getting done, and all with Ron’s help,” Trump says in the recording.

“Ron is an Iraq War veteran who, like me, loves our military and is giving our troops the support and equipment they need to defend us … ,” the president continues.

“Remember, tomorrow is Election Day. Please get to the polls tomorrow to join me in supporting my friend Ron DeSantis for Governor. He will be absolutely outstanding. Thank you,” Trump concludes.

Since DeSantis officially announced his bid for Governor in January he has climbed in the polls despite running far behind Putnam in fundraising and campaign infrastructure.

Despite jabs from Putnam that DeSantis was running his campaign out of a TV studio in New York and digs on whether he understood the issues facing the Sunshine State, DeSantis was thrust far out front with Trump’s endorsement — which even saw the president stump for DeSantis with a Tampa campaign rally.

If DeSantis proves victorious on Tuesday, he’ll move on to the November general election, where he’ll be up against one of five Democrats vying to end the stranglehold the GOP has had on the Governor’s Mansion since Jeb Bush’s election in 1998.

If polling on the Democratic side of the race proves accurate, former Congresswoman Gwen Graham will take the nomination Tuesday night, though a resurgent Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine are still in the mix.

A recording of Trump’s call is below.

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