Rep. Javier Fernandez, who is running for the Senate District 39 seat in 2020, received the endorsement of the entire Senate Democratic Caucus on Monday.
The caucus had signaled their support for Fernandez prior to Monday.
But that endorsement was all but finalized with Friday’s news that former Rep. Robert Asencio would forego a run for the Democratic nomination in SD 39 and instead pursue a Miami-Dade County Commission seat.
The Asencio news was first reported in Friday’s Sunburn.
Fernandez remains the only Democrat declared in the SD 39 contest. The seat will be vacated by Republican Sen. Anitere Flores, who is term-limited.
“It is no secret that District 39 is the top battleground as Senate Democrats continue on the path to the majority in Florida,” Senate Democratic Leader-designate Gary Farmer said.
“Javier Fernandez is a proven winner in the rough and tumble world of Miami-Dade politics with a track record of raising the resources necessary to compete in a highly competitive campaign.”
Senate Democratic Leader Audrey Gibson also added a statement.
“With Floridians’ civil rights under attack, we need legislators in the fight for equal protection under the law for all of our citizens,” Gibson said.
“I am proud to support Javier Fernandez in his run for State Senate because he will work every day to ensure that our voting rights are protected and no one in our state faces legal discrimination for their race, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity.”
With the full caucus endorsement comes financial backing from the Florida Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee. Monday’s news will make it all the more difficult for an opponent to stand in the way of Fernandez as the Democratic nominee.
“I am proud to have the support of all of my future colleagues in the Senate Democratic Caucus,” Fernandez added in a statement of his own.
“Our children need fully funded public schools where they can fulfill their greatest potential, our working families deserve an efficient public transportation system and jobs that provide the dignity of a living wage, and every neighborhood should be able to live freely without the fear of gun violence. I’m running for the State Senate in order to ensure our voices are heard on the frontline of these battles for the people of Florida.”
Fernandez stepped into the contest after Pinecrest Vice Mayor Anna Hochkammer dropped out of the race due to health concerns.
The Republican primary has also been whittled down after the entry of Rep. Ana Maria Rodriguez. A pair of Republican candidates swapped over to other races. Angie Chirino, a singer and former congressional candidate, remains in the contest on the GOP side.
However, Rodriguez was courted in part by GOP leadership. That could foretell a Rodriguez-Fernandez matchup in 2020, though there remains a long way to go until August.