Tampa PBA endorses Jay Collins for SD 14

Jay Collins Tampa PBA
Collins faces Democratic Sen. Janet Cruz for the competitive Tampa seat.

The Tampa Police Benevolent Association (PBA) highlighted its endorsement of Senate District 14 candidate Jay Collins during a law enforcement roundtable in Tampa.

Collins hosted that roundtable, hearing concerns from local law enforcement leaders as well as words of support. The Republican nominee also spoke directly with several leaders of the Tampa PBA, who each expressed the need for more resources for Florida law enforcement officers.

“We’ve been unfairly demonized,” said Tampa PBA President Darla Portman. “Especially when downtown Tampa was rioting, nobody stood up for us. We need someone who’s going to be on our side, and we endorsed Jay because we know that Jay Collins will stand up for us.”

Collins has previously received support from the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Senate Republican Leadership, Attorney General Ashley Moody and CFO Jimmy Patronis. He’s also nabbed the most coveted endorsement among Florida Republicans — that of Gov. Ron DeSantis.

“We have a major shortage of uniformed patrol officers,” said Ian Lewis, who serves on the PBA board of directors. “We have more and more people moving to Tampa and the ratio of uniformed patrol to residents is becoming unsettling. It feels good knowing that Jay Collins is going to have our backs and fight for us in Tallahassee.” 

Collins faces Democratic Sen. Janet Cruz for the Tampa seat.

“I’m extremely thankful that these leaders in law enforcement took the time to meet with me today, and I’m extremely grateful to have earned the support and endorsement of the Tampa PBA” Collins said in a statement.

“This November, we are going to finally elect commonsense leadership to fully fund law enforcement and make keeping our neighborhoods safe a top priority. I look forward to getting to work in Tallahassee to fight for not only the law enforcement leaders I met with today, but for all of us.” 

The pair have run a competitive race so far, with their respective parties providing strong financial backing.

Cruz started September with $640,309 in available spending money between her campaign account and the affiliated political committee, while Collins began the month with $358,959 between his two fundraising sources, including his affiliated political committee, Quiet Professionals FL.

While Cruz boasts a hefty war chest — surpassing $2 million raised in October — Collins reported considerable support from GOP leadership in the last few finance periods. His PC received $10,000 from House Speaker Pro Tempore Bryan Ávila’s political committee, Fighting for Florida’s Families. In July, Ávila’s committee gave Collins a $20,000 boost — a testament to how much Republicans want this seat.

Collins earned DeSantis’ endorsement when he entered the race. Tampa businessperson Shawn Harrison, who filed in April, left the race in response to Collins’ shift from a congressional to a legislative campaign.

SD 14 is a blue-leaning seat, but a competitive one. About 51.25% of voters under the new SD 14 lines favored Democrat Joe Biden in the 2020 Presidential Election while 47.33% voted for Republican Donald Trump.

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected].


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn