A South Florida police union is throwing its support behind Republican candidate Ana Maria Rodriguez in the race for Senate District 39.
The South Florida Police Benevolent Association (SFLPBA) represents law enforcement and corrections officers from dozens of agencies in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. SD 39 covers all of Monroe County and part of southern Miami-Dade County.
Rodriguez currently represents House District 105, but is hoping to swap over to the Senate to replace term-limited GOP Sen. Anitere Flores.
“I am proud to be endorsed by the men and women who put their lives on the line for us every day,” Rodriguez said in a Monday statement.
“At a time where Democrat leaders across the country are calling to defund the police and encouraging violence in our streets, it is more important than ever for public leaders to stand up for our brave law enforcement officers. I am honored to be a champion for these men and women and their families.”
“It is clear that I am the only law and order candidate in this race, and I will not sit by idly while Democrats paint a target on the back of law enforcement officers,” Rodriguez continued, again perpetuating the claim that Democrats are somehow encouraging violence.
“I am honored to have their support, and further, I urge my Democratic opponents to strongly condemn the defund the police movement being enabled by their party.”
Rodriguez is unchallenged in the GOP primary for SD 39. Rep. Javier Fernández and Daniel Horton-Diaz, a former District Chief of Staff for U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, are competing for the Democratic nomination.
Rodriguez has consistently led the field in fundraising, but Fernández has lessened that gap since the turn of the year. Both candidates have a massive war chest assembled. Rodriguez is sitting on $488,000, while Fernández maintains $321,000.
Celso Alfonso also qualified in the contest as a non-party affiliated candidate.