Florida chapter of world’s largest police union backs Janelle Perez’s Senate bid
Image via JanellePerez.com.

Janelle Perez could become the first open gay woman elected to the Florida Senate.

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.

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected].


  • PeterH

    September 13, 2022 at 3:39 pm

    Police unions who support are-electing Governor DeSantis should understand they are voting against their own personal safety.

    Governor DeSantis and his Republican legislators plan to implement: no training, no special licensing of open carry handguns. Think about how this policy will impact police officers, off duty police officers who patrol shopping malls and the families of police officers.

    If Americans want women to control their own bodies, qualified teachers to replace DeSantis’s culture wars in classrooms, intelligent teacher-student conversations concerning the social issues facing Americans in the 21st century, non-bullying discussion about classroom students who are different, common sense gun regulations, and a new honest approach on how best to address climate change……



    • Charlotte Greenbarg

      September 14, 2022 at 8:08 am

      Orwellian Newspeak. Bidencrats are killing us with inflation. And PeterH conveniently ignores it

    • Rich7553

      September 15, 2022 at 3:01 pm

      Democrats support –
      1. Defunding police
      2. Revolving door courts
      3. Not prosecuting some crimes
      4. Plea bargains on violent felonies
      .5. Early release and liberal parole

Comments are closed.


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