Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday endorsed Republican Marva Preston in the race to succeed term-limited Democratic Sen. Bill Montford in Senate District 3.
“Marva Preston possesses a genuine sense of responsibility for the people of North Florida, the challenges they face and the opportunities they deserve,” DeSantis said in a news release.
“I am proud to endorse Marva because Florida’s hardworking families deserve an advocate in the Senate who won’t stop at good enough, but will instead fight for more.”
DeSantis’ endorsement follows nods from Senate President Designate Wilton Simpson and Majority Leader Kathleen Passidomo, who weighed in on the race last week.
“Governor Ron DeSantis has led admirably in these uncertain times, prioritizing the health and safety of Floridians while working to reopen our economy,” said Preston, an ordained minister and former homicide detective.
“I am honored to have Governor DeSantis’s support and look forward to working with him to give voice to the issues that matter most in North Florida – growth, opportunity, and preserving and protecting our environment.”
SD 3 is a Democratic-leaning seat that covers all of Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Hamilton, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Taylor and Wakulla counties.
Preston faces Benjamin Horbowy in the Aug. 18 primary. The winner will go up against Democratic Rep. Loranne Ausley in November.
Ausley has been campaigning for the seat for nearly two years and has built a sizable campaign fund to stave off a potential upset.
As of June 12, she had raised $383,000 for her campaign and had $307,000 in the bank. She has another $25,000 on hand in her political committee, Florida 2020.
Preston, meanwhile, has raised about $19,000 and has $7,300 on hand.