U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz has offered his support to state Rep. Alex Andrade.
It’s prominent support from one Panhandle pol to another.
“Alex is one of the best conservative fighters in Northwest Florida,” said Gaetz, a Fort Walton Beach Republican. “We need America First patriots representing us at all levels of government, and Andrade knows what it takes to protect our way of life from the woke mob and those who hate America.”
Andrade, a Pensacola Republican, embraced the endorsement.
“I could not be prouder to have Congressman Gaetz representing us in Congress, and I appreciate his vote of confidence in me,” Andrade said. “Congressman Gaetz knows how special our military members are to Northwest Florida and I’m excited to keep fighting alongside leaders like him, and Gov. Ron DeSantis, to protect Floridians from liberals pushing unconstitutional mandates, illegal immigration and their woke un-American agenda.”
Andrade sponsored bills the last two years included bans on forced vaccinations, removing a carve-out for Disney in a social media law, and providing benefits to families of military killed while in service.
He is seeking a third term in the Florida House with the support of House leadership. He’s running in House District 2.
Andrade in the past has been considered as a possible successor to Gaetz in Congress, though he brushed off speculation last year when many pondered if the Congressman would leave early and open the seat.
“Congressman Gaetz does an incredible job for his constituents and fights for the people of Northwest Florida every single day,” he told WEAR-TV.
Political support between the two Panhandle Republicans runs back years. Gaetz endorsed Andrade in 2020 as well when the state lawmaker faced a spirited primary challenge from Chris Dosev. Andrade won that Primary with 60.8% of the vote.
This year, Andrade faces challenges in HD 2 from Republicans Jordan Karr and Jon Gregory Litton. Democrats Andy Romagnano and Carollyn Taylor are vying for the Democratic nomination.
While the seat is most closely divided one west of Tallahassee, HD 2 remains a strong Republican seat following this year’s once-a-decade redistricting process. About 55.91% of voters supported Republican Donald Trump in the 2020 Presidential Election, while just 42.03% voted for Democrat Joe Biden. In a similarly configured district, Andrade won with 55.8% of the vote over Democrat Dianne Krumel in 2020.