Vice Chairwoman Rebeca Sosa and Commissioner José “Pepe” Diaz announced their endorsements of Rodriguez Monday. Rodriguez is competing against Democratic candidate Javier Fernandez for the SD 39 seat.
“Ana Maria is a staunch community advocate with the experience necessary to effectively represent South Floridians’ interests on day one in the Florida Senate,” Sosa said in a statement announcing her support.
“Her track record as both a local elected official and as a State Representative demonstrates that she is the candidate that is best equipped to be effective immediately and ensures she will put our community’s best interests first as a State Senator. She has my full support and I am proud to endorse her.”
Rodriguez currently represents House District 105. But state Sen. Anitere Flores, who currently represents SD 39, is term-limited after 2020. That makes the 2020 race an open one and is expected to lead to a competitive contest.
That prompted GOP leadership in the Senate to court Rodriguez to run in an effort to keep the seat in Republican hands. Both Sosa and Diaz argue Rodriguez is well-suited to serve the district.
“Ana Maria Rodriguez is a proven leader whose record as an elected official shows her commitment to serving the South Florida community,” Diaz said.
“She is the only candidate who understands the challenges our families face everyday and she has the experience necessary to immediately offer real solutions. With Ana Maria you get a humble leader and quiet warrior who has shown the ability to build consensus and get things done, and that is exactly what we need in Tallahassee. I am proud to endorse her.”
The backing from Sosa and Diaz comes after a December endorsement from U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio.
“I am so grateful for the continued outpouring of support I’ve received from across South Florida and our entire state,” Rodriguez added in a statement of her own..
“To have the faith of so many community leaders is an honor and ensures that I will have the support needed not only to win, but to have an immediate positive impact for South Floridians in the State Senate.”