Endorsement Watch: Associated Industries of Florida, Democratic Progressive Caucus, the Florida Retail Federation and others issue endorsements

endorsements (Large)

There are just a few weeks until the election, and organizations across the state are rolling out endorsements for state and federal candidates.

Several organizations — including Associated Industries of Florida, the Democratic Progressive Caucus, and the Florida Retail Federation — issued endorsements.

Associated Industries of Florida has endorsed Marco Rubio in his U.S. Senate re-election bid.

“Marco has led rational efforts to reassert American principles of freedom and representative government throughout the globe,” said Tom Feeney, the president and CEO of Associated Industries of Florida. “At home, he has fought to protect job growth by fighting onerous draconian regulatory mandates from the executive branch, and has championed pro-growth tax policies. Sen. Rubio has long fought for prosperity in Florida, and Florida needs his leadership in the U.S. Senate.”

Rubio announced in June he was running for re-election. He will face Republican Carlos Beruff in the Aug. 30 primary.

The Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida endorsed Bob Poe in Florida’s 10th Congressional District.

“Bob Poe is standing up for the progressive values we share,” said Susan Smith, president of the Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida. “He’s committed to raising the minimum wage, improving our schools, banning assault weapons, cleaning up our water, and reducing police excessive force. Bob has proven he will be a progressive champion in Congress for Central Florida.”

Poe faces Democrats Val Demings, Fatima Rita Fahmy and Geraldine Thompson in the Aug. 30 Democratic primary.

“I’m honored to have Florida’s progressive Democrats standing with me,” said Poe. “As the true progressive in this race, I know we need someone willing to walk the talk on wages, jobs, education, and guns. It’s time for leadership on these issues, not just more career politicians. I look forward to working with my progressive Democratic allies to get things done in Congress.”

The Michael Bloomberg-backed Independence USA PAC has endorsed Val Demings in Florida’s 10th Congressional District.

“Few people in America have done more to fight gun violence than Val Demings. She will be a powerful leader in Congress on Day 1 to pass sensible laws to protect all Americans from illegal guns,” said Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor.

Demings faces Democrats Bob Poe, Fatima Rita Fahmy and Geraldine Thompson in the Aug. 30 Democratic primary.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has endorsed Francis Rooney in Florida’s 19th Congressional District.

“The stakes for our nation’s future are very high and we need leaders with core conservative convictions and commitment to changing the direction of America. Francis has the experience that will help Southwest Florida families on the economic and national security fronts,” said Walker, who has an aunt who lives in the district. “He will work tirelessly to challenge the status quo, preserve and defend the Constitution, and advocate for the values that have made our country great.”

Rooney faces Republicans Chauncey Goss and Dan Bongino in the Aug. 30 primary.

“I am proud to have the support of Gov. Walker who has been relentless in the fight to defend conservative values, and I’m honored that he has expressed confidence in me,” said Rooney. “The governor has spent years battling bureaucracy and has proven time and again that he is a courageous leader that gets things done.”

Rooney also received the backing of the National Association of Realtors Political Action Committee, the political arm of the National Association of Realtors.

Associated Builders & Contractors endorsed Dana Young in Senate District 18.

“As the leading voice for the commercial construction industry, we feel it is our duty to engage in the political and legislative arenas to help drive the critical initiatives that impact our members, their jobs, and their families,” said Steve Cona, president and CEO of ABC Gulf Coast Chapter, in their endorsement letter. “We are thrilled to announce that we have selected to endorse you in your race for the Florida Senate District 18. We believe you best exemplify an understanding of free enterprise, limited government and responsible regulations.”

Young faces Democrat Bob Buesing in the general election.

“I am honored that ABC has thrown their support behind me as I campaign to represent our Tampa Bay community in Tallahassee,” said Young. “As a long-standing advocate of free market principles and limited government, I have stood alongside builders and contractors, as well as all Floridians, working together to build a strong and prosperous economy. If I’m provided with the opportunity to serve Senate District 18, I will continue to fight for these values on behalf of our community and the entire state of Florida.”

The Florida Retail Federation has endorsed Ed Narain in Senate District 19.

“Working for a retailer, Ed is familiar with the struggles and successes that our members go through, and therefore understands how important it is for our Legislature to focus on passing laws that allow Florida businesses to succeed,” said Randy Miller, president and CEO of the Florida Retail Federation. “Ed will be a big advocate for Florida’s 270,000 retailers in his new role as the senator for District 19.”

Narain faces Democrats Betty Reed, Augie Ribeiro and Darryl Rouson in the Aug. 30 primary.

Duval County Property Appraiser Jerry Holland has endorsed Sheri Treadwell in House District 11.

“Sheri Treadwell is without a doubt the best person for the job,” said Holland. “I know her to be a hard worker and a dedicated conservative. District 11 residents will be well served by her long history as a committed Republican, knowledge of the issues, and her energy and fresh perspective, and I urge them to cast their votes for Sheri Treadwell.”

Treadwell faces Donnie Horner, Cord Byrd and Wayne Buck in the Aug. 30 Republican primary.

“Jerry Holland is a wonderful public servant, and I am very honored to have his support,” said Treadwell. “He is a model of integrity and servant leadership, and I look forward to working with him to make Northeast Florida an even stronger region.”

The Florida Retail Federation has endorsed Donnie Horner in House District 11.

“Every day, Donnie works closely with a number of Florida’s major retailers and knows firsthand how important they are to the success of our state’s economy and to Florida families,” said Randy Miller, the president and CEO of the Florida Retail Federation. “His goal of reducing taxes on families, growing jobs and improving Florida’s overall business-friendly environment will be a big help to retailers in his position as House Representative for District 11.”

Horner faces Sheri Treadwell, Cord Byrd and Wayne Buck in the Aug. 30 Republican primary.

Personhood FL ProLife PAC has endorsed Peter Vivaldi in House District 15.

“Personhood FL ProLife PAC has today endorsed candidates who have committed to protecting all innocent human life, without exception,” said PAC Chair Bryan Longworth. “It’s no longer sufficient to merely be against abortion in certain circumstances. Being pro-life in the 21st century demands that we defend innocent human life in and out of the womb from beginning to end. I encourage pro-life Florida voters to support these candidates with their votes, their time, and their donations.”

Vivaldi, a Republican, will face the winner of the Aug. 30 Democratic primary in November.

Mel Sembler, the former ambassador to Italy, Australia and Nauru, has endorsed Rebecca Smith in House District 60.

“Rebecca Smith is a compassionate leader, who has built her own business, created jobs for more than 30 Floridians and helped to grow our region’s economy,” said Sembler. “Rebecca’s compassion extends to employees’ families, with scholarship and tuition assistance offered to employees’ children who are seeking to better their education. Rebecca Smith is the right kind of leader we need in our state capital. I wholeheartedly support Rebecca Smith and ask that you cast your vote for Rebecca Smith for state representative, District 60.”

Smith faces Republican Jackie Toledo in the Aug. 30 primary.

“It is an incredible privilege to receive the support of Ambassador Sembler, one of the most successful and influential civic and political activists in Florida,” said Smith. “I am honored to have him in my corner and look to his legacy of innovative leadership and tireless commitment to our nation as an example of a true public servant.”

The Florida Nurses Association Political Action Committee has endorsed Wengay “Newt” Newton in House District 70.

“FNPAC has a history of endorsing candidates on both sides of the political aisle who care about protecting patients and the nursing profession,’’ said FNPAC Chair Bonnie Sklaren. “We encourage our members and the tens of thousands of nurses to support these candidates due to their interest in advancing the role of nurses in the education, workforce, and healthcare arenas.”

Newton faces Democrats Christopher John “CJ” Czaia and Cori Fournier in the Aug. 30 primary.

The Miami-Dade Police Benevolent Association has endorsed Robert Asencio in House District 118.

“As a retired law enforcement officer, Robert Asencio understands the everyday dangers that police officers face,” said John Rivera, president of the Miami-Dade PBA. “We are excited to endorse Robert in his race for the Florida House of Representatives. Robert knows that protecting our communities is a top priority. He has fought with us, side by side, for many years and we look forward to working with him in the future.”

Asencio is the only Democrat running in House District 118. He’ll face the winner of the five-person Republican primary later this month.

“Having the backing of my brothers in blue is really special to me,” he said. “I know with their support, we can make law enforcement safer and more effective for both our community as well as our people behind the badge.”


Staff Reports


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