Rep. Anna Eskamani is backing a challenger to one of her House colleagues, as she is endorsing Omari Hardy in House District 88.
Hardy currently serves as a Lake Worth Beach Commissioner and is competing against incumbent Rep. Al Jacquet in the HD 88 Democratic primary.
On Monday, Eskamani called Hardy “a passionate advocate for his community and a true fighter” who leads with “integrity, thoughtfulness, [and] carries with him a deep commitment to service and a focus on delivering results.”
Those comments came as part of Eskamani’s endorsement, which she posted on her Twitter account.
“I would be honored to serve alongside him in the Florida Legislature and cannot wait to see him win this August and November!” Eskamani added.
Hardy responded in kind, saying Eskamani has “been a consistent champion for working-class people in Tallahassee.”
He added, “I am thrilled to have her support in my race for Florida House District 88!”
Hardy and Jacquet are part of a five-person field competing for the Democratic nomination. Philippe Louis Jeune, Sienna Osta and Cedrick Thomas are also running. Republican candidate Danielle Madsen and non-party affiliated candidate Rubin Anderson have also qualified.
Hardy and Jacquet have been combative throughout the primary season. In February, Jacquet was forced to apologize after directing an anti-gay slur at Hardy. Jacquet stepped down from his position as ranking member of the Rules Committee after the outburst.
The episode also earned condemnation from several of Jacquet’s Democratic colleagues, such as Reps. Nick Duran, Shevrin Jones and Carlos Guillermo Smith.
Earlier this month, Hardy filed a complaint arguing Jacquet had failed to properly qualify for the HD 88 contest. Jacquet paid the required qualifying fee with a check that appears to be drawn from his personal account. State law requires such a check to be drawn from a candidate’s campaign account.
The Democratic primary will be held on Aug. 18.