An education union more than 11,500 members strong just threw its support behind Broward County Commissioner Jared Moskowitz’s bid to succeed Democratic U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch later this year.
On Monday, Moskowitz’s campaign announced the endorsement of the Broward Teachers Union (BTU), which represents teachers, paraprofessionals and technical service professionals in the fifth-largest school district in the country.
The campaign noted an endorsement from the BTU is “often a bellwether for candidate success” considering its size, influence, reputation and ability to advocate.
In an accompanying statement, BTU President Anna Fusco said the group is proud to support Moskowitz, whose “lifelong commitment to teachers, students, schools, and families” made choosing to back him in the race an easy decision.
“Jared will be the advocate that teachers and schools need in Washington,” she said.
A former Parkland Commissioner, Moskowitz won a race for state office in 2012, when residents of northern Broward, including Coral Springs, elected him to represent them in the House. He won re-election three times, during which he successfully championed numerous school-centered pieces of legislation.
He resigned early in January 2019 after Gov. Ron DeSantis tapped him to run the state’s Department of Emergency Management.
Moskowitz’s management of Florida’s natural disasters and the outbreak of COVID-19 earned him the nickname “Master of Disaster.” He held the job until February 2021, when he resigned with DeSantis’ support.
Just nine months later, the Republican Governor again called on Moskowitz, who is a Democrat, to replace Barbara Sharief on the Broward County Commission. His term runs until November.
Fusco cited Moskowitz’s work leading the Department of Emergency Management as pivotal in helping schools to remain safe.
“We’re thankful Jared was the Director of Emergency Management during the first year of the pandemic because his work ensured that teachers had access to masks, testing, and vaccines and that schools maintained important safety policies,” she said. “In the aftermath of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting, Jared was an active presence in helping our community through the crisis as he prioritized the safety of our entire learning community.
“For that, we will always be grateful.”
To date, Moskowitz has received endorsements from 84 elected and community leaders, including six current School Board members.
“The endorsement by the Broward Teachers Union means so much to me,” he said. “I am completely committed to passing teacher- and student-centered education policy that values hardworking educators and ensures students are prepared for 21st century problems.
“As a member of Congress, I look forward to supporting teachers, staff, students, and families.”
Moskowitz is running for Florida’s 23rd Congressional District, which spans Broward and Palm Beach counties.
The district leans heavily Democratic.
Other candidates in the race include retired chiropractor Steve Chess, lawyer Jim Pruden and insurance broker Darlene Swaffar — all Republicans — as well as Democratic Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Ben Sorensen and no-party candidates Mark Napier and Christine Scott.
Editor’s note: This story was updated to include the correct party affiliation of Democratic Fort Lauderdale Commissioner Sorensen.