Republican Rep. Alex Andrade landed a top-flight endorsement Tuesday as he barrels toward a primary showdown with Cris Dosev in House District 2.
The nod came from U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, who issued a glowing statement direct from his Washington office.
“Representative Andrade has shown his commitment to making America Great Again by fighting to ban sanctuary cities in Florida, fighting for the right to life, protecting our 2nd Amendment and making Florida’s economy the best in the country,” the congressman said.
“We need Representative Andrade representing us in the Florida House to continue supporting the conservative initiatives President [Donald] Trump and Governor [Ron] DeSantis are pursuing.”
Andrade responded: “I appreciate Congressman Gaetz’s vote of confidence. I ran to represent Northwest Florida in the State House because I know I am the best person for this job. While others may see this position as a stepping stone to get to higher office, I approach my role with a passion and a work ethic that has earned the respect of leaders across Florida.”
Gaetz’s endorsement carries particular weight, not only because of his rising star in national politics, but because he’s equally familiar with Andrade’s opponent — Gaetz has gone up against the now-perennial candidate in both of his campaigns for Florida’s 1st Congressional District.
Dosev failed to gain traction in either of his runs, finishing third with 21% of the vote four years ago and taking a 65%-30% shellacking in 2018. Though poor fundraising played a part in the failures, his waffling on support for President Donald Trump did him no favors.
In April, Dosev opted to run for state House rather than mount a third bid for CD 1.
Thus far, he has not proved competitive on the fundraising front, having raised just $8,401 from donors and sliding his campaign a $10,000 loan. As of July 10, he had nearly exhausted his campaign account.
Through the same date, Adrade had racked up $171,875 in hard money and had nearly $112,000 banked. He has another $20,000 to spend in his political committee, Constituent Priorities.
The winner of the Aug. 18 head-to-head will almost certainly find themselves in Tallahassee next Session, though the victor will face nominal opposition from Pensacola Democrat Dianne Krumel in November.
The last Democrat to run for the seat, Ray Guillory, managed just 39% of the vote without the challenge of an incumbent.