Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry and U.S. Rep. John Rutherford have officially endorsed Pensacola Rep. Frank White for Attorney General.
This endorsement happened despite a Jacksonville candidate, Rep. Jay Fant, being in the race, raising existential questions about his viability going forward.
“I’m proud to endorse Frank White as our next Attorney General. Frank is a man of character and faith who will fight for conservative values. He is a friend of law enforcement and a champion for the rule of law who is ready to lead,” Rutherford, a former three-term Jacksonville Sheriff, said in a statement.
“Frank White understands that Florida families need a fighter on their side. With Frank as Attorney General,” Curry said, “we will have someone who applies conservative principles to the work of public safety and taxpayer protection. I encourage my neighbors in Jacksonville to join me supporting Frank White to serve as Florida’s next Attorney General.”
“As a true conservative and someone who spent a career keeping our streets safe,” White said, “I welcome Congressman Rutherford’s support.”
“In Mayor Curry,” White added, “I see a Republican champion who has brought a conservative reform agenda to his city. Having both leaders on our team, working in Northeast Florida, will be an important step in our path to victory. I am honored to have them both.”
With Curry and Rutherford backing White, this leaves Fant out in the cold when it comes to the backing of most of Northeast Florida’s most powerful Republicans.
Retired Hillsborough County Judge Ashley Moody has been endorsed by Clay County Sheriff Daryl Daniels.
Current Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams was on a host committee for a Moody fundraiser, but has not offered a formal endorsement of any candidate.
While Fant does have some endorsements from colleagues in Tallahassee, such as Rep. Paul Renner, Rep. Jason Fischer and Sen. Aaron Bean, he will find limited traction with the Curry political machine behind him.
“This is a kill shot for Fant,” said one Republican familiar with the thinking of White’s advisers.