A key public safety union endorsement went the way of a political veteran in his latest comeback.
The statewide Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) union is endorsing former state Rep. Lake Ray in the House District 16 Republican Primary.
Ray is one of three candidates in the field. He is a former legislator who represented the former House District 12 for eight years ending in 2016, and that track record appears to have given the FOP a comfort level with Ray over his two opponents in the August Primary.
Fraternal Order of Police President Steve Zona offered the on-record quote distributed by the Ray campaign.
“Today, we are excited to endorse Lake Ray in his race for State House, District 16. He is a leader who is dedicated to serving his constituents and has the backs of the law enforcement officers protecting the citizens in their community,” Zona contended.
“I have always supported our heroes in law enforcement and will continue to ‘Back the Blue.’ I am beyond proud to receive this endorsement and will fight for them every day,” Ray responded.
Ray has thus far not spent heavily. He had roughly $213,000 on hand as of the most recent numbers reflecting pre-July 15 activity between his campaign account and the A Stronger Florida for Us political committee. Undoubtedly, the FOP endorsement will come into play in branding down the stretch.
Stokes, a Jacksonville Beach City Councilman who has gotten most of the establishment endorsements, closed last week by going on the defense and volunteering information that claims that he made of graduating from Auburn University were erroneous.
A third candidate, Kiyan Michael, has nearly $20,000 on hand.
Only Republicans will vote in this Primary, which has been closed by not one but two write-in candidates presenting themselves before qualifying. Democrats did not file in this district, which is drawn to perform Republican in a General Election.