Florida firefighters back Allie Braswell in HD 45

Allie Braswell
That's a group that has often endorsed Republicans, including Ron DeSantis.

The Florida Professional Firefighters organization is endorsing Allie Braswell, a Democrat running for a swing seat in Central Florida.

“We believe that you will honorably serve the citizens of Florida, and the interests of the men and women employed in the Fire and Emergency Medical Services, who have made the protection of life and property their life’s work,” reads a letter from Wayne ‘Bernie’ Bernoska, president and CEO of the Florida Professional Firefighters.

The organization also said it will contribute to Braswell’s campaign, noting a request from Adam Seithel, vice president for the firefighters’ union 3rd district. That district has 3,162 members.

Braswell announced the support of firefighters along with an endorsement from Orange County School Board member Johanna Lopez, the Democratic nominee in House District 43.

“These two endorsements demonstrate the support from two communities that serve as the foundation for the health, safety, and success of our residents,” Braswell stated, “I’m very honored to receive their support.”

But the firefighters’ recognition seems particularly notable. That’s a group that this year endorsed a number of high-profile Republican candidates, including Gov. Ron DeSantis. That helps to bolster Braswell’s message that he can bring both sides of the aisle together in the Legislature.

The move comes as Braswell runs for an open seat in House District 45. He faces Republican nominee Carolina Amesty.

Firefighters earlier this year endorsed Chief Financial Officer (and state Fire Marshal) Jimmy Patronis, who earlier backed Amesty in a competitive GOP Primary.

The newly drawn seat is most analogous to one represented in the House now by Sen.-elect Geraldine Thompson, a Windermere Democrat. But House Republicans have spent tens of thousands in an effort to win the seat.

Under new lines approved in the decennial redistricting process, about 52.13% of voters in HD 45 supported Democrat Joe Biden in the 2020 election while 46.62% went for Republican Donald Trump.

In the last week, Braswell also announced the support of International Firefighters Association Local 2057.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


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