Republican Vance Coley announced Thursday that the Florida Police Benevolent Association has endorsed his candidacy for House District 5.
PBA executive director Matt Puckett said Coley “demonstrates a strong commitment to the men and women of law enforcement and corrections. We know he has our back.”
Founded in the 1960s, the Florida PBA is the state’s largest professional association for law enforcement and corrections officers. It advocates for law enforcement in the Capitol and provides assistance during labor negotiations and officer disciplinary cases.
“I’m very honored that the PBA and the thousands of law enforcement and corrections officers they represent have put their trust in me to represent them in Tallahassee,” Coley said in a news release.
“When radical ideas like defunding the police come up in Florida, I will always stand up for law and order. Every day our brave men and women in law enforcement and corrections put their lives on the line for us, I’m proud to stand with them.”
Coley is one of three Republicans running for HD 5, which will be an open seat in 2022 because current Rep. Brad Drake cannot run for re-election due to term limits. Coley faces DeFuniak Springs pharmacy owner Shane Abbott and Jackson County Commissioner Clint Pate in the Republican Primary.
The Panhandle district covers Holmes, Jackson, Walton and Washington counties, as well as parts of Bay County. It is safely Republican and no Democrats have filed to run in the district this cycle.
Abbott currently leads in fundraising with more than $380,000 raised through his campaign and political committee as of March 31. Through the same date, Coley had raised about $77,000 between his campaign and political committee, adVance Northwest Florida Values. Pate has raised about $37,000.