Michael Waltz, Danny Burgess head veterans group supporting Wilton Simpson

Veterans for Simpson also named Ron DeSantis as honorary co-Chair.

A coalition of veterans holding office came out in support of Wilton Simpson’s bid for Agriculture Commissioner.

U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz, a St. Augustine Beach Republican, and state Sen. Danny Burgess, a Zephyrhills Republican, serve as co-Chairs of Veterans for Simpson. Waltz holds the distinction of the first Green Beret elected to Congress and has already endorsed Simpson’s run for statewide office. Burgess, a major in the Army National Guard, serves in the Florida Senate now, where Simpson serves as Senate President.

Gov. Ron DeSantis, who endorsed Simpson in April, was named honorary co-Chair of the group. The Governor previously served in the Navy.

“Now more than ever, Floridians need an Agriculture Commissioner who fully understands how our food supply chain works to provide safe and abundant food to the American people,” Waltz said. “At the height of the pandemic, Florida farmers like Wilton Simpson worked overtime to fill the gaps created by the crisis and ensure grocery store shelves were stocked. Gov. DeSantis leaned on that expertise and tapped Wilton to serve on his Reopen Florida Task Force to help get Floridians back to work.”

Simpson runs a successful egg farm.

“As the crisis in Eastern Europe continues, we are reminded that the strength of the world’s economy is built on the health of the commodities market. We are facing serious economic and national security challenges that require proven leaders equipped to solve real-world problems,” Waltz said.

“Wilton Simpson is that leader, fully equipped to do his part to ensure our most basic needs are met as our freedom and quality of life are challenged here at home and abroad.”

Burgess also praised the Senate leader.

“The rich contributions of Florida’s Veterans to the fabric of what makes our state so special is not lost on Wilton Simpson,” Burgess said. “From the Florida GI Bill to the Military Protection Act, Wilton has always worked to ensure we honor those who serve with the resources they need to thrive in our communities.”

Simpson said he was honored to have the support of a group of veterans.

“Florida is home to more than 1.4 million Veterans, tens of thousands of active duty service members and host to 21 military bases. Here at home and across the country, our Veterans and service members know that Florida values their service and is the most Veteran-friendly state,” Simpson said. ” I am humbled by the support of these great servant leaders and look forward to continuing to connect with Veterans across the state.”

Other members of the group include: Lt. Gen. Bill Lennox, USA Ret.; Brigadier Gen. Chip Diehl, USAF Ret.; Brigadier Gen. Michael Fleming, FLARNG Ret.; Col. Thomas G. Bowman, USMC Ret.; Lt. Col. Glenn W. Sutphin, Jr., FA Army Ret.; and Lt. Col. Damon Friedman, USAF Ret.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected]

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