- Al Palacio
- Alexis Calatayud
- Annette Taddeo
- Ben Albritton
- coastal Miami-Dade County
- Daniella Levine Cava
- Debbie Murcarsel-Powell
- Donna Shalala
- Florida Chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police
- Janelle Perez
- Kathleen Passidomo
- Lauren Book
- Marco Rubio
- Matt Isbell
- MCI Maps
- Ron DeSantis
- Senate District 38
- state Department of Education
- Wilton Simpson
A statewide police union 24,000 strong is giving Democratic Senate candidate Janelle Perez its endorsement over the Republican candidate who’s a favorite of the Tallahassee establishment.
Perez, a businesswoman who would be the first openly gay woman elected to the Senate, said the backing of the Florida chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) reflects her campaign’s commitment to safety and security. FOP claims to be the largest organization of law enforcement officers in the world.
“It is the responsibility of lawmakers to keep our communities safe, and our law enforcement has an essential role to play in that work,” Perez said in a prepared statement. “I look forward to promoting bipartisan policies and budget priorities in Tallahassee.”
Perez is competing to represent Miami-Dade’s Senate District 38 against Alexis Calatayud, who, like Perez, is a first-time candidate. The Republican, who served in the state Department of Education, drew the endorsement of outgoing Senate President Wilton Simpson, Senate President Kathleen Passidomo and Sen. Ben Albritton hours after she filed to run for the seat.
Calatayud is also getting lots of GOP help for her race, showing significant contributions from Republican politicians and party-affiliated political committees.
The FOP is proud to endorse Perez, said Al Palacio, District 6 director of Florida Fraternal Order of Police. In other races, however, the union has endorsed Republicans, such as U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and Gov. Ron DeSantis.
“Law enforcement officers look to elected officials for their support and our members trust Janelle to be their voice in Tallahassee to effectively advocate on behalf of the 24,000 active and retired law enforcement officers across the State of Florida,” Palacio said.
The district, which covers several coastal Miami-Dade municipalities, voted for Biden by 7 percentage points, according to elections data specialist Matt Isbell of MCI Maps.
Perez has also earned endorsements from other unions, such as the Service Employees International Union Florida, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, and the South Florida AFL-CIO.
Several Democratic bigwigs are also backing Perez’s bid, including former U.S. Reps. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell and Donna Shalala, Senate Democratic Leader Lauren Book, state Sen. Annette Taddeo and Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.