Two Palm Beach County first responders’ unions are backing attorney Michael Weinstein in the House District 81 Democratic primary.
The Palm Beach County Police Benevolent Association (PBA) and the Professional Firefighters and Paramedics of Palm Beach County both announced support for Weinstein Wednesday.
“Your advocacy for, and understanding of, public safety issues is commendable,” read the endorsement from the Professional Firefighters and Paramedics group.
Weinstein is competing against former Rep. Kelly Skidmore for the Democratic nomination in HD 81. The district covers parts of Palm Beach County near Lake Okeechobee including Pahokee and Belle Glade.
“Public safety continues to be a paramount issue in our community and across Florida,” Weinstein said. “With COVID-19 cases going up, now more than ever, we need leadership that focuses on the safety of our community.”
The HD 81 seat is open after Rep. Tina Polsky launched a bid for Senate District 29. Polsky is leaving the seat after just one term. Silmo Moura and Saulis Banionis are battling on the Republican side.
The respective primaries will take place on Aug. 18.
Weinstein came out of the gate with a fundraising lead, thanks in part to a $35,000 self-loan. Skidmore has since narrowed that gap, adding more than $15,000 in the first 12 days of June.
Candidates face a July 3 deadline to file their next fundraising reports, covering all financial activity through June 26. Those reports will shed further light on where the fundraising race sits.
Skidmore secured a series of endorsements from current and former lawmakers, including from former HD 81 Rep. Joe Abruzzo. Weinstein, however, is hoping the support from the Palm Beach first responders’ groups can help build momentum.
“As a prosecutor, father and community advocate, I know what it takes to keep people safe and stand up for justice,” Weinstein said.
“I will work hard to build bridges between our first responders and the community while ensuring they have the resources they need to keep us safe.”