FSU icons Bobby Bowden and Corey Simon endorse Marva Preston for SD 3

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Bowden's down-ballot endorsement is the GOP's latest push before Nov. 3.

Two Florida State University football icons, Bobby Bowden and Corey Simon, threw their weight on Thursday behind Marva Preston for Senate District 3.

In a 15-second television ad, the former FSU head football coach and NFL veteran joined forces once again to endorse Preston over Democrat Loranne Ausley. 

“I’m Corey Simon and I played football with coach Bobby Bowden,” the ad opens. “Now, I’m joining Coach Bowden in supporting Marva Preston. Coach Bowden says he’s proud to stand with Marva Preston because he knows she will fight for us in Tallahassee.”

The hail-mary ad comes as Preston – a GOP newcomer – finds herself trailing in the polls less than five days before Election Day. The pair for months have been locked in what’s emerged as one of the most contentious Senate races in the state.

SD3 has long stood as a Democratic stronghold and Ausley was considered the natural successor to term-limited Sen. Bill Montford. However, the Florida Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee has spent thousands to push Preston into the end zone.

Bowden’s down-ballot endorsement is the latest effort before Nov. 3.

“North Florida is home to some of the hardest working people in this great country and we deserve a leader who will fight for our families and our community,” Bowden said in a statement. “I am proud to stand with Marva Preston because I know she will fight for us in Tallahassee.”

Notably, Bowden introduced and endorsed President Donald Trump at a 2016 campaign rally in Tampa. The 90-year-old has remained a vocal supporter ever since.

Earlier this month, he was released from the hospital after testing positive for the COVID-19 virus. In a statement, he said wanted to “win this one” so he can “be around to vote for President Trump.”

Simon, meanwhile, is an eight-year NFL veteran. He was inducted into the FSU Football Hall of Fame in 2010.

Jason Delgado

Jason Delgado covers news out of the Florida State Capitol. After a go with the U.S. Army, the Orlando-native attended the University of Central Florida and earned a degree in American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. He'd love to hear from you. You can reach Jason by email ([email protected]) or on Twitter at @byJasonDelgado.


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