State Sen. Oscar Braynon II is endorsing state Rep. Shevrin Jones as his successor in Senate District 35.
Jones is one of six candidates vying to replace Braynon, who is term-limited in 2020. Jones has been the strongest fundraiser among the SD 35 candidates. Braynon’s decision to back Jones could further elevate the West Park lawmaker in the crowded Democratic primary field.
“I’m thrilled to endorse my good friend Shevrin Jones in his campaign to represent Senate District 35,” Braynon said in a statement, scheduled to be released Monday.
“I have the distinct honor to serve the people of this district and know that Shevrin will fight for all of our interests as our next Senator.”
Five of the six candidates currently competing for Braynon’s seat are Democrats. That’s unsurprising given the Democratic lean of the district, which covers parts of Broward and Miami-Dade counties, including Miramar, West Park and Miami Gardens.
Jones, who currently represents House District 101 and is also term-limited in 2020, isn’t the only candidate with legislative experience in the contest.
Former state Sen. Daphne Campbell and former state Rep. Cynthia Stafford, both Democrats, are also running for the seat. Miami Gardens City Councilman Erhabor Ighodaro and former firefighter Wilbur Harbin round out the Democratic field.
But Braynon says he wants Jones to take over SD 35 starting in 2021.
“A lifelong public servant, Shevrin is a vocal advocate for all Floridians — from his dedication to public education and good-paying jobs, to his relentless fight for healthcare for all and safer communities and schools,” Braynon continued.
“Over the coming months, I will do everything I can to support Shevrin’s grassroots campaign because SD 35 will be in excellent hands when we elect him to the State Senate.”
The winner of the Democratic primary will likely go on to win the general election. The only Republican in the contest, Josue Larose, has not reported a single outside donation since entering the race in March. He has also run several stunt candidacies in the past — including for President and Governor — and has been sanctioned for more than 2,000 violations of state election law by the Florida Elections Commission.
Braynon’s Monday announcement is the latest in a series of endorsements collected by the Jones campaign. The LGBTQ Victory Fund endorsed Jones in late November. And Forward Florida, a political committee run by former Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum, backed Jones along with several other 2020 candidates in early December.
“It is an honor to have the support from Senator Braynon in this race,” Jones said. “He’s been a proven champion for our community, and I look forward to continuing the fight for opportunity for all as SD 35’s next State Senator.”
The Democratic primary will be held on Aug. 18, followed by the general election on Nov. 3.