Sen. Perry Thurston says he’s backing current Rep. Shevrin Jones as Jones pursues the open seat in Senate District 35.
Jones is one of five Democrats competing in the left-leaning district. Serial candidate Josue Larose has also filed as a Republican.
Thurston’s support is another signal that state Democrats are getting behind Jones’ candidacy. Term-limited Sen. Oscar Braynon II, who currently holds the SD 35 seat, already backed Jones to serve as his successor.
Last month, Jones also courted an endorsement from U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida’s 23rd Congressional District. Andrew Gillum‘s political committee, Forward Florida, is supporting Jones as well.
“As both a colleague representing Broward County and a friend, I’ve known Shevrin for many years and have seen his fierce commitment to the people of South Florida firsthand,” Thurston said Monday.
“From fighting to expand access to affordable health care, to demanding every Florida child get the quality education they deserve, to prioritizing criminal justice reform and economic opportunity for all, Shevrin is a champion on the issues that matter. I look forward to working with him on these big issues when he joins me in the Senate next year.”
Thurston’s previous tenure as a member of the House overlaps with Jones’ time there. Thurston served from 2006 through 2014. Jones joined the House in 2012.
During the 2012-2014 term, Thurston served as the House Democratic Leader while representing House District 94.
SD 35 covers parts of Broward and Miami-Dade counties including Miramar, West Park and Miami Gardens. Thurston now represents a nearby portion of Broward County in Senate District 33.
“I am humbled to have Senator Thurston’s support 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.”
So far, Jones has easily been the strongest fundraiser in the contest. Jones raised more than $54,000 in December and has now added more than $320,000 this cycle.
Miami Gardens City Council member Erhabor Ighodaro, who sits at second in overall contributions among the SD 35 field, has raised just under $60,000 in total.
In addition to Ighodaro, Jones is also competing for the Democratic nomination against former Sen. Daphne Campbell, former firefighter Wilbur Harbin and former Rep. Cynthia Stafford.