Jessica Baker adds John Rutherford and Mike Waltz to list of endorsers

BAKER ART 2
Endorsements are piling up on both sides in the race.

Republican Jessica Baker continues to draw major endorsements for her campaign for House District 12.

On Wednesday, two Northeast Florida members of Congress, Reps. John Rutherford and Mike Waltz, became the latest to endorse the first-time candidate.

“Jessica Baker is a strong conservative who possesses the right character and experience to be our next state Representative,” said Rutherford, who represents Florida’s 4th Congressional District.

“As a mother, prosecutor and community leader I have watched Jessica put serving others above all else and know that she will do the same in Tallahassee. She is pro-life, pro-Second Amendment and supports the Rule of Law. I’m proud to endorse her campaign,” Rutherford added.

“Floridians deserve conservative leaders in Tallahassee who will fight for the safety of our hardworking families and communities,” said Waltz, who represents Florida’s 6th Congressional District to the south of Jacksonville.

“I’m proud to endorse Jessica because I know she’ll stand up for the conservative values that make Florida the greatest state in America — low taxes, individual freedom and less regulation on the small businesses that create jobs for our people,” Waltz added.

“Congressmen Rutherford and Waltz are working hard each and everyday against the liberal agenda in Washington, and I am honored to have their support,” said Baker, accepting the endorsement. “As a prosecutor and a military wife, I understand the sacrifices our men and women in uniform make each and everyday and am committed to ensuring they have the resources and support they need to keep our families and our communities safe.”

These endorsements follow ones from Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry and Sheriff Mike Williams. A common thread: three of the four endorsers have worked with Baker’s husband, Tim Baker, a prolific political consultant in this region and beyond.

Williams is the exception.

The momentum has built quickly. On Friday, she launched her campaign with critique of her opponent, former Rep. Lake Ray, who represented the district from 2008 to 2016. She decried “career politicians,” a not-so-subtle dig on Ray, who has spent decades serving in and running for offices.

Baker, who has worked in the State Capitol and for Curry in City Hall, was a member of the Jacksonville Charter Commission in 2019. That panel is assembled once a decade to review potential changes to Jacksonville’s governance structure. She currently is a State Attorney in the 7th Circuit.

Ray, meanwhile, has been in the race for some months and has built momentum of his own.

The current Representative from HD 12, political ally Clay Yarborough, preemptively endorsed Ray earlier this month ahead of Baker’s filing. Sen. Aaron Bean and State Reps. Chuck BrannanCord Byrd, and Chris Latvala also back Ray, who has rolled out well over a dozen endorsements already.

Ray has fundraised steadily, with roughly $150,000 on hand between his campaign account and that of his state-level political committee. Baker has the connections and wherewithal, however, to close any gap quickly.

HD 12 is a Republican-leaning district under its current configuration, with more than 48,000 Republicans outnumbering the more than 38,000 Democrats. There are also more than 28,000 who belong to neither party.

This campaign will develop over the months ahead. The Primary is Aug. 23. Assuming a Democrat or NPA candidate files to oppose the winner, the General Election is Nov. 8.

While redistricting is underway, the district as currently drawn has been a safe GOP hold. Yarborough won reelection twice, each time getting roughly 60% of the vote against lightly-funded Democratic opposition.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at [email protected]


2 comments

  • Jim Lafferty

    October 6, 2021 at 11:43 am

    Who cares what Rutherford the Insurrectionist says? He supports Rogers who beat up and killed Capitol and DC police. Scum.

  • Phil Morton

    October 7, 2021 at 4:07 am

    Having the endorsement of not one but two insurrectionist should insure her the Republican nomination. Hopefully, that’s as far as she gets.

Comments are closed.


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