The Florida Police Benevolent Association endorsed Senate President Wilton Simpson for Agriculture Commissioner, the group announced Friday.
“As our Senate President, you insist that the men and women of law enforcement and corrections be treated with the utmost respect,” reads a letter to Simpson from FPBA President John “Kaz“ Kazanjian. “Your vision as Senate President has steered our law enforcement and correctional officer communities onto a road into the 21st century. Your support for creating a sustainable quality of life for Florida’s finest will leave a lasting legacy for decades to come.
“We have your back and we know you have ours.”
The FPBA boasts more than 30,000 members statewide and a greater level of influence among law-and-order voters.
Simpson tweeted he’s proud to have the union’s support.
“Florida’s law enforcement officers put their lives on the line everyday to protect our families and we are all grateful for the sacrifices they make to keep us all safe,” Simpson said.
He shared a photo of himself with leaders of the Association.
Simpson, a Trilby Republican, in September officially filed for Agriculture Commissioner, a post the professional farmer has long expressed interest in holding.
The job today is held by Democrat Nikki Fried, who is running for Governor in 2022 against Gov. Ron DeSantis rather than seeking reelection to a second term.
Simpson has rapidly built a seismic war chest. He raised more than $1.6 million in October fundraising.
A powerful fundraiser, Simpson now holds more than $7.2 million in cash between his campaign and four political committees: Jobs for Florida, Florida Green PAC, Florida Future and the new Friends of Wilton Simpson.
Three other candidates for the position — Democrat Ryan Morales and fellow Republicans James Shaw and Richard Ollie Jr. — have pulled in less than $1,000 in outside contributions. Morales raised $984 on top of $2,030 in candidate loans. Shaw has given his campaign $20,000 out of pocket. And Ollie reports no fundraising thus far.