Just two weeks into his Senate campaign, House Speaker Pro Tempore Bryan Ávila has secured an endorsement from Florida’s most powerful elected executive, Gov. Ron DeSantis.
In a Monday afternoon Twitter post, DeSantis announced he is backing Ávila’s bid to replace Hialeah Republican Sen. Manny Díaz Jr. in Senate District 39. DeSantis appointed Díaz in late April to replace Richard Corcoran as Education Commissioner.
“Senator Manny (Díaz) will do a great job heading up the Florida Department of Education,” he said. “He leaves big shoes to fill in the (Florida) Senate. I believe (Bryan Ávila) will be an effective Senator and advocate for Miami-Dade and he has my support.”
Senator Manny Diaz will do a great job heading up the Florida Department of Education. He leaves big shoes to fill in the FL Senate. I believe @BryanAvilaFL will be an effective Senator and advocate for Miami-Dade and he has my support.
— Ron DeSantis (@RonDeSantisFL) May 16, 2022
Less than an hour later, Ávila responded.
“I am honored to receive (Gov. DeSantis’) endorsement,” he wrote on Twitter. “His bold conservative leadership has made (Florida) the most attractive state for Americans and businesses in our nation. I look forward to working (with) him as we continue to fight for (Florida’s) hard-working families.”
I am honored to receive Governor @RonDeSantisFL endorsement for FL Senate. His bold conservative leadership has made FL the most attractive state for Americans and businesses in our nation. I look forward to working w/ him as we continue to fight for FL’s hard-working families. https://t.co/AFyup14g33
— Rep. Bryan Ávila (@BryanAvilaFL) May 16, 2022
Ávila has proven to be a legislative ally to DeSantis and has carried measures in the House codifying the Governor’s policy wishes into state statutes. During the 2022 Legislative Session, Ávila sponsored HB 7, a bill nicknamed the “Stop W.O.K.E. Act” after a legislative proposal DeSantis announced in December.
Díaz carried the measure’s Senate companion.
The legislation — which prohibits classroom and workplace instruction telling students and employee they are inherently racist, sexist, oppressive or should feel guilty because of their race, skin color, sex or national origin — cleared the House and Senate along party lines in March.
Less than a month later, DeSantis signed the measure, which takes effect July 1.
Ávila launched his SD 39 campaign May 2. Díaz endorsed him that same day. He said Ávila “will be a true champion for northwest Miami-Dade in the Florida Senate.”
The move ended an 11-month campaign Ávila had been running for the Miami-Dade County Commission, where he had amassed more than $911,000 in a bid to succeed term-limited District 6 Commissioner Rebeca Sosa.
District 6 covers the cities of Miami Springs, West Miami, parts of Miami, Coral Gables and Hialeah, and a portion of the county’s unincorporated area, including Miami International Airport and a golf course being redeveloped into a $1 billion soccer stadium complex.
Since Ávila’s departure from the county race, the GOP has thrown its weight behind government relations specialist Kevin Marino Cabrera, who has already received endorsements from former President Donald Trump, U.S. Rep. María Elvira Salazar and Florida Chief Operating Officer Jimmy Patronis.
For now, Ávila is the only active candidate listed in SD 39 on the Division of Elections website.
Last updated on May 16, 2022