Republican Texas U.S. Sen.Ted Cruz is endorsing Leo Valentin in his bid to win a three-way Republican primary for Florida’s 7th Congressional District.
Valentin, who operates a diagnostic radiology practice in Orlando, is seeking a shot to take on U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy in the November election. First, though, he has to defeat financier Richard Goble of Longwood and businessman Yukong Zhao of Orlando in the August 18 Republican primary.
“We need Dr. Leo Valentin in Congress! I’m proud to endorse Leo today, and I hope you’ll join me in supporting him for #FL07,” Cruz said in a statement Wednesday.
CD 7 covers Seminole County and parts of northern, eastern, and central Orange County. Murphy has represented it for two terms.
The trio of Republicans have been rolling out endorsements, but Cruz’s is the first with any national prominence. Goble’s endorsements include Jay J. Rodriguez, national chairman of the Orlando-based Hispanic Republican Organization, and the Christian conservative organization Florida Family Action. Zhao’s endorsements include the Orlando Sentinel and Paul Hsu, chair of President Donald Trump’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
“I’m proud to have Sen. Ted Cruz’s support,” Valentin said. “He’s a proven conservative leader who understands the work we have to do to fight for the principles this country was founded on. I look forward to joining Sen. Cruz in Washington to stand up for the issues we both care so much about – promoting local economies, strengthening our communities, making quality health care affordable, and protecting hard-working families from an overbearing government.”
After growing up in Puerto Rico, Valentin studied computer science at the University of Miami and went on to earn his M.D. at Ponce School of Medicine. His career also included a stint as president of Professional Hospital in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, before, during and after Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017.