Florida firefighters endorse Wilton Simpson
Wilton Simpson seeks to

Another first responders group rushed to the Republican's aid.

The leading firefighter union in Florida endorsed Republican Wilton Simpson’s campaign for Agriculture Commissioner.

“On behalf of the more than 26,000 Florida Professional Firefighters and Paramedics, I am proud to announce our membership’s endorsement of Wilton Simpson for Agriculture Commissioner,” said Wayne “Bernie” Bernoska, president of the Florida Professional Firefighters (FPF).

Bernoska said Simpson, a Trilby Republican, particularly came through during the last two years when he presided over the Senate. During that time, the Legislature approved expansions of benefits for first responders.

“As Senate President, he showed he was willing to step up and deliver needed resources and pay raises for Florida’s state firefighters and we know his leadership will continue when he is elected to lead the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services,” Bernoska said. “The FPF looks forward to working together for the next four years to support Florida’s highly trained Florida Forest Service Firefighters.”

Simpson this year is the front-runner for Agriculture Commissioner. He faces Republican James Shaw in a GOP Primary as three Democrats vie for the party nomination.

The seat right now is held by Democrat Nikki Fried, but she is forgoing running for a second term in order to run for Governor.

Simpson has racked up a significant list of endorsements that includes former President Donald Trump, Gov. Ron DeSantis, Attorney General Ashley Moody and Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis. U.S. Reps. Michael Waltz and John Rutherford have also endorsed Simpson, as have 58 county Sheriffs.

The firefighter organization joins with the Florida Police Benevolent Association in backing Simpson, showing uniform support from those in uniform.

The National Rifle Association, Florida Farm Bureau FarmPAC, Florida Forestry Association, Florida Chamber of Commerce, Americans for Tax Reform, Florida Family Action and the Associated Industries of Florida have also endorsed Simpson’s run for the Cabinet position this year.

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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