A week after drawing a Republican primary opponent in the Hillsborough County Sheriff race, incumbent Chad Chronister netted a pair of high-profile endorsements.
The backing, announced Wednesday, comes from Senate President Bill Galvano and Sarasota Sen. Joe Gruters, who also serves as chair of the Republican Party of Florida.
“Chad Chronister’s 30-year law enforcement career gives him the experience necessary to lead an agency as large as the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. He has truly proven he is a true crime fighter, as the double-digit drop in the crime rate illustrates. He has my full support,” Galvano said in a news release.
Gruters added, “Sheriff Chronister is a tried and true lawman. He protects and serves, it’s as simple as that. He’s fair and honest. He’s earned my endorsement.”
Chronister was appointed Hillsborough Sheriff by then-Gov. Rick Scott in 2017. Voters retained him by a 5-point margin in the 2018 election.
“To have the backing of these two leaders of our region and state is humbling. I am appreciative of the trust Senators Galvano and Gruters place in me and my ability to keep our county safe,” Chronister said.
Thus far, Chronister has proved a formidable fundraiser, amassing nearly $105,000 for his campaign account with about $90,000 of it still in the bank. His political committee, Friends of Chad Chronister, is also flush with cash, closing out April with more than $840,000 on hand.
The committee total includes $112,000 raised over the past two months, an uncommon performance for a local candidate in the coronavirus era.
Combined, he has raised nearly $1 million and has $930,000 left to spend three months out from the August primary election.
His primary opponent, Charles Boswell, has not yet filed his first finance report. Democrats Ronald McMullen and Gary Pruitt — the 2018 Democratic nominee — are also seeking the seat. They have raised $13,000 and $5,000, respectively.