The Florida Fraternal Order of Police is endorsing former prosecutor Berny Jacques for House District 59.
The state order represents more than 24,000 law enforcement officers. The local FOP District 3 also offered support for Jacques.
“As we approach the 2022 elections we are aware that strong leaders are needed to lead Florida to a prosperous and safe future. We need leaders that are dedicated to serving their constituents and have the backs of the law enforcement officers protecting the citizens in their community,” the Florida FOP said in a statement.
“Berny Jacques is the choice of the men and women in FOP District 3 and the Florida State Lodge.”
Jacques adds the FOP endorsement to a list including U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds, the Seminole Professional Firefighters Association, Pinellas County Commissioner Kathleen Peters, former Rep. Larry Ahern, and Seminole Mayor Leslie Waters.
Jacques, a former prosecutor and former analyst for Bay News 9, faces Dipak Dinanath Nadkarni and Jennifer Wilson for the Republican nomination.
The three candidates are running to replace Nick DiCeglie in the House. The newly drawn House District 59 is located in Pinellas County and includes Largo, Seminole, parts of Pinellas Park and some of unincorporated Pinellas County.
Seminole City Council member Chris Burke withdrew from the HD 59 race just a few days after announcing his campaign. Burke is also not the first Republican to drop out of the race. Former candidate Alen Tomczak announced in early March that he ended his campaign after being called to active duty with the Florida National Guard.
As an active member of the Florida National Guard, Tomczak will be deployed overseas beginning in May.
DiCeglie has endorsed Wilson as his preferred successor.