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2020

South Florida police unions back Democratic incumbent José Javier Rodríguez in SD 37

Rodriguez earned the endorsements over a Republican challenger backed by Senate leadership.

Two police unions are endorsing Democratic Sen. José Javier Rodríguez in a high-profile South Florida Senate race.

The Florida Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) and the South Florida Police Benevolent Association (SFLPBA) both announced Wednesday they are supporting Sen. Rodríguez. Republican candidate Ileana Garcia and non-party affiliated Alex Rodriguez are also seeking the seat.

“In law enforcement, our top priority each day is to serve the citizens of our community by putting their well-being first,” said Al Palacios, president of the FOP, Lodge 133.

“Sen. José Javier Rodríguez has been a strong partner in carrying out that mission and we are proud to support his reelection to District 37.”

Palacio’s lodge represents police officers who serve in Miami-Dade County Schools.

The endorsements are a significant get for Sen. Rodríguez as Republicans this cycle continue to follow President Donald Trump in pushing a “law and order” message. In late August, Sen. Rodríguez also secured support from a pair of firefighter unions.

The South Florida Police Benevolent Association (SFLPBA) represents law enforcement and corrections officers from dozens of agencies in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties.

“Our members put themselves on the frontlines each day in order to protect the people of Florida and ensure we keep our citizens safe,” said SFLPBA President Steadman Stahl.

“In Tallahassee, Sen. José Javier Rodríguez has always fought on behalf of our first responders and that’s why we stand with him in his campaign for reelection.”

Sen. Rodríguez has a large financial advantage in the race, holding nearly $523,000 as of Sept. 4. Garcia retains around $110,000 while Rodriguez, the non-party affiliated challenger, has less than $1,000.

“Throughout my time in office, I’ve always strived to ensure we put public safety first in every action we take in the Legislature,” Sen. Rodríguez added.

“That has meant working side by side with our law enforcement and first responders to ensure that they have the resources they need to carry out their service to our communities. I am proud to have the support of the Florida State Fraternal Order of Police and the South Florida Police Benevolent Association and will continue to stand with them on behalf of District 37.”

Written By

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to ryan.t.nicol@gmail.com.

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