The Florida Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police(FOP) is supporting state Rep. Webster Barnaby in a heated House race.
The police organization announced it will support the Deltona Republican in the House District 29 contest. The support went to Barnaby over state Rep. Elizabeth Fetterhoff, a DeLand Republican running for the same seat.
A release from the FOP said members “feel that (Webster) continues to be the best choice of candidate to serve the citizens.”
“He has proven through action and dedication that he will represent his district with integrity and unfailing support,” reads a statement from Fraternal Order of Police President Steve Zona. “He is willing to fight the battles that need to be fought to protect the community and the officers that protect that community. The leaders of our community are an integral part of a prosperous and safe future, and it is imperative that we choose our leaders carefully.”
The Barnaby campaign showcased the backing from the FOP shortly after the Florida Police Benevolent Association announced its endorsement for Fetterhoff. Both campaigns have stressed their support of law enforcement in the buildup to an Aug. 23 Republican Primary.
A new state House map put Webster and Fetterhoff in the same House district, and the lawmakers are the sitting members of the Legislature facing one another in a House. While the redistricting process this year initially put 19 sitting Representatives in districts with other members, disputes in most instances were resolved by lawmakers moving to neighboring open seats.
Webster previously served on the Deltona City Commission and remains the president of the West Volusia Republican Club. He first won election to the House in 2020 after beating Republican Erika Benfield in a GOP Primary and Democrat Dolores Guzman in a General Election.
The newly drawn House District 29 leans significantly Republican, with 52.99% of voters under the new lines having voted for Republican Donald Trump in 2020 and 45.75% picking Democrat Joe Biden.