Florida Family Action, one of Florida’s most vocal socially conservative groups, endorsed Wilton Simpson’s bid for Agriculture Commissioner.
“When it comes to protection our food, agriculture and natural resources, there is no candidate more qualified than Wilton Simpson,” said John Stemberger, Florida Family Action president.
Stemberger’s voice has boomed especially in Republican circles.
The endorsement should help shield the Trilby Republican from a challenge from the right, though that concern largely seemed assuaged when Gov. Ron DeSantis backed Simpson and primary challenger Chuck Nadd promptly suspended his campaign (though he is still listed as an active candidate by the Division of Elections).
DeSantis also faces a Republican challenge from James Shaw, while Ryan Morales has filed to run as a Democrat. The qualifying deadline for candidates is now less than a month away, at noon on June 17.
Right now, Agriculture Commissioner is the only statewide office in Florida held by a Democrat, though incumbent Nikki Fried is not seeking a second term and instead running for Governor.
Simpson, now Florida Senate President, hails from the agriculture industry as an egg farmer.
The support from Stemberger and Florida Family Action, which has focused on social issues like fighting abortion, comes a day after Simpson landed the endorsement of Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform and one of the nation’s most influential fiscal conservatives.
Simpson also enjoys the backing of 59 Sheriffs, the National Rifle Association, Florida Farm Bureau FarmPAC, The Florida Police Benevolent Association, Florida Forestry Association, Florida Chamber of Commerce and The Associated Industries of Florida.
He has also been endorsed by U.S. Rep. Mike Waltz. Additionally, Attorney General Ashley Moody and CFO Jimmy Patronis, sitting members of the Cabinet seeking re-election, have endorsed him as well.
He’s also sitting on more than $13.5 million in cash on hand in his campaign account and with political committees under his control.