Police union backs Ray Blacklidge for HD 69


Republican Ray Blacklidge announced Tuesday that he’d picked up an endorsement for his House District 69 bid from the statewide Fraternal Order of Police.

The Florida State Lodge of the FOP represents has been representing Florida law enforcement officers for more than 60 years and counts more than 20,000 members among its ranks.

“I am very proud to be endorsed by the FOP,” said Blacklidge. “The men and women of Florida’s law enforcement community are vital to the quality of life we enjoy here. Each and every day, their courage and sense of duty allows the rest of us to carry out our responsibilities in peace and safety. I’m honored to have their support, and I look forward to working with them on strengthening public safety in Florida.”

The FOP’s endorsement is a significant addition to Blacklidge’s stack of backers, which includes Bradenton Republican Rep. Jim Boyd, Seminole Mayor Leslie Waters and South Pasadena Mayor Max Elson and a handful of others.

The Madeira Beach attorney and businessman is running against Jeremy Bailie in the Republican primary for HD 69, which is open this year due to the early exit of Rep. Kathleen Peters, who is running for Pinellas County Commission rather than a fourth term in the House.

As of July 20, Blacklidge led in overall fundraising with $194,000 in receipts between his campaign account and political committee, Friends of Ray Blacklidge. He has about $100,000 in the bank, including about $30,000 in self-funding. Bailie, through the same date, has raised a little over $71,000 and has $31,300 on hand.

The winner of the Aug. 28 primary contest will go up against Democratic nominee Jennifer Webb in the Nov. 6 general election. Webb currently leads the overall field in cash on hand, with $114,500 in her campaign account off of $154,500 in total fundraising.

HD 69 covers part of southern Pinellas County including coastal communities from Redington shores southward as well as a southwestern chunk of the mainland peninsula. The district has a slim Republican advantage. Peters has held the seat since it was redrawn ahead of the 2012 elections, and it voted plus-3 for Donald Trump two years ago.

Drew Wilson

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.


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