Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis has landed endorsements from the majority of Florida Sheriffs, his campaign announced Thursday.
Patronis doubles as the Florida State Fire Marshal and has worked alongside law enforcement, firefighters and other first responders during emergencies such as hurricanes and the collapse of the Champlain Towers in Surfside last year.
The lead endorsement came from the Sheriff of Patronis’ home county, Tommy Ford.
“I proudly endorse CFO Jimmy Patronis. He has continued to stand with law enforcement and first responders in keeping Florida safe,” the Bay County official said. “Through many disasters and incidents throughout our state, he has had his boots on the ground to ensure that first responders had the resources and support that they needed.”
Martin County Sheriff William Snyder added, “I thoroughly enjoyed our time serving together in the House and his work while in office has reflected fervor and compassion not only for first responders and law enforcement, but for all the residents of Florida. The type of frontline, boots-on-the-ground mentality he has demonstrated is hard to come by and I look forward to another four years of knowing he’ll be there when we need it most. Thank you for all you do, Jimmy.”
The news release highlighted lauds from several other sheriffs, including Paul Blackman of Highland County,Kurt Hoffman of Sarasota County and A.J. Smith of Franklin County.
Patronis was appointed CFO in 2017 and elected to a full term in 2018, earning 52% of the vote against Democratic former Sen. Jeremy Ring. This year, three Democrats are vying for the position, most notably Democratic former Rep. Adam Hattersley, who launched his campaign on March 1.
With about seven months to go before Election Day, the incumbent holds a sizable fundraising advantage. As of March 31, Patronis had about $615,000 on hand in his campaign account and another $3.4 million on hand in his political committee, Treasure Florida.
Hattersley, meanwhile, raised about $33,000 in his first month running for the Cabinet post.