Two organizations representing Florida’s firefighters and paramedics are endorsing Republican Rep. Chip LaMarca as he seeks to fend off a Democratic challenger in House District 93.
The Florida Professional Firefighters (FPF) and the Broward County Council of Professional Fire Fighters (BCCPFF) endorsed LaMarca Tuesday. The Tuesday announcement comes days after new financial reports showed LaMarca expanding his cash lead over Democratic challenger Linda Thompson Gonzalez.
“Rep. Chip LaMarca has been a strong advocate for firefighters, both in local government and now in Tallahassee,” said Wayne “Bernie” Bernoska, president of the FPF, which represents 27,000 firefighters and paramedics across the state.
J. Scott Bayne, chairman of the Broward County Council of Professional Firefighters, said LaMarca’s opposition to a bill making it harder to collect union dues played a role in his group’s endorsement. That bill passed the House on a largely party-line vote but failed in the Senate. LaMarca was one of only a handful of Republicans to oppose the bill in the House.
“This legislative session could have been a decisive blow to all unions in our state including every dues-paying member in Broward,” Bayne said.
“However, we had a freshman representative that crossed his party line and stood up for us and voted no on HB-1. His decisive vote was key to killing that legislation,” Bayne added.
Added LaMarca, “Our brave firefighters and paramedics are on the frontlines of every single disaster and crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic is no exception. They have put their health and safety at risk to respond to those who need it most. I’m truly honored to have the support of firefighters and paramedics throughout Florida and here in Broward County.”
The most recent fundraising reports show LaMarca adding nearly $16,000 from June 27-July 10. LarMarca raised more than $154,000 to date and has more than $129,000 still on hand.
Gonzalez has raised more than $31,000 in outside money after netting nearly $1,500 in the most recent reporting period. She kicked in $70,000 of her own cash and has just over $73,000 still on hand.
LaMarca’s district is entirely within Broward County. He won the open seat in 2018 by seven points over his Democratic opponent Emma Collum.
HD 93 covers parts of Broward County including Lighthouse Point and Lauderdale-by-the-Sea.