State Rep. Ana Maria Rodriguez picked up political support for her Senate District 39 campaign from yet another major South Florida Republican.
Former House member and now-Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez endorsed Rodriguez’s Senate ambitions: “South Florida needs and deserves a strong leader like Ana Maria Rodriguez in the Florida Senate,” she said.
“As a working mother and a community leader, Ana Maria has proven she understands the challenges and opportunities facing the people of South Florida. I am proud to stand with my friend, Ana Maria Rodriguez.”
Rodriguez won election to the Florida House in 2018. Gov. Ron DeSantis tapped Nuñez, a former House leader herself, as his running mate the same election.
It’s the second major endorsement this week from a South Florida Republican woman with roots in the critical Cuban community. State Sen. Anitere Flores announced her support for Rodriguez on Monday.
Rodriguez celebrated the critical endorsement. Flores could not seek reelection thanks to term limits.
“Lt. Gov. Nuñez is a friend and a mentor and I am honored to have her support and confidence,” Rodriguez said. “The decisions being made in Tallahassee today will impact the people of South Florida for generations to come, and I look forward to fighting for our communities from Miami-Dade to Monroe Counties.”
A trio of other female political leaders in Florida has also put their weight behind Rodriguez’s campaign.
State Sens. Kathleen Passidomo (who’s vying to be Senate President for 2022-24), Lizbeth Benacquisto and Kelli Stargel will host a committee week fundraiser in September benefitting several female Republican Senate candidates.
Rodriguez faces Angie Charino in the Republican Primary. The winner will likely face Democrat Anna Hochhammer next fall.
The SD 39 race is expected to be one of the most competitive in Florida next year.
In 2016, Flores won reelection in the district by 8 points, but Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton also won the district by more than 10 percent, according to MCI Maps.