Rick Scott earns endorsements from 59 Florida Sheriffs for 2024 re-election bid
Rick Scott

Rick Scott
'Supporting Florida’s great law enforcement officers is the most important thing we can do to keep Florida safe'

A week after drawing his first major challenger, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott is unleashing a volley of endorsements for his re-election campaign.

The first-term Republican Senator and former Governor announced that nearly all county sheriffs in the state — 59 — were backing his 2024 bid. In a news release, the campaign said Scott “has been proud to work alongside these sheriffs” on “crises affecting the state like hurricanes, storm recovery, school safety and the fentanyl crisis.”

The endorsement announcement came alongside the rollout of Scott’s public safety platform for the 2024 election.

His priorities: opposing any effort to “defund the police”; securing funding for law enforcement officer support services; cracking down on “liberal prosecutors who refuse to do their jobs”; pushing for “mandatory strict minimum sentences” for crimes against law enforcement officers; strengthening qualified immunity for law enforcement officers; and eliminating no-knock warrants in any case that does not involve violent crime.

“Across the nation, we continue to see the harmful impact of what the Democrats’ soft-on-crime policies of coddling criminal behavior does to communities in places like New York and California. While Democrats villainize our brave law enforcement officers, I will always stand alongside them and provide them with the resources they need to get the job done,” Scott said in a news release.

“Supporting Florida’s great law enforcement officers is the most important thing we can do to keep Florida safe and I will fight any attempt by the radical Democrats at all levels of government who try to diminish and attack our law enforcement officers.”

Despite railing against Democrats for supposed “soft-on-crime” policies, Scott’s campaign noted the sheriff endorsements were “bipartisan” — they included Gadsden County Sheriff Morris Young and Calhoun County Sheriff Glenn Kimbrel, both elected Democrats, as well as Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, a conservative who was elected as an NPA.

The rest of the list is Republican lawmen, including some with statewide name recognition such as Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, who called Scott “a champion for safety and law enforcement.”

“After working closely together following the tragic shooting in Parkland, I have seen first-hand how then-Governor and now Senator (Scott) is focused on finding real solutions to make sure our students and families are safe. His recent School Guardian Act is just another example of his leadership and I am proud to support my friend Sen. Rick Scott for re-election in 2024,” said Gualtieri, who chaired the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission created following the 2018 Parkland massacre.

Endorsements also came from every lawman holding a leadership position in the Florida Sheriffs Association, the combined advocacy arm for Florida’s county sheriffs. Those backers: FSA President Al Nienhuis of Hernando County, Vice President Bill Leeper of Nassau County, Secretary Bill Prummell of Charlotte County, Treasurer Dennis Lemma of Seminole County, and Immediate Past President Robert McCallum of Levy County.

“I am endorsing Sen. Rick Scott because he’s always been a champion for Florida’s law enforcement community. He’s fighting for us on the federal level to ensure we are able to keep Floridians safe. I look forward to having him in the Senate for six more years,” Nienhuis said.

Scott will face a Democrat on the statewide ballot next year. Of the current crop of declared candidates, his most likely opponent is former congressional candidate Phil Ehr, who entered the race last week. Former U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson is also competing for the Democratic nomination.

Drew Wilson

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.


  • Sonja Fitch

    July 24, 2023 at 6:11 am

    Bs. Scott ONLY cares about MONEY!

  • Dont Say FLA

    July 24, 2023 at 9:45 am

    59? Wow. What alternative form of veto power does Rick Scott have over Florida’s sheriffs? Or are there 59,000 sheriffs in Florida?

  • Ocean Joe

    July 24, 2023 at 1:55 pm

    “After working closely together following the tragic shooting in Parkland, I have seen first-hand how then-Governor and now Senator (Scott) is focused on finding real solutions to make sure our students and families are safe.”

    The only thing Scott has ever done is send “thoughts and prayers” after folks are slaughtered, and only then because some GOP operative in a thinktank came up with the phrase.

    Until we restore the ban on assault weapons we will continue to see mass casualty events.

  • Ruben

    July 25, 2023 at 12:55 am

    For couples of election of different Republican candidates ill see all the sheriff backing up Republican that mean they have to because all of then are Republican to.ill be surprise if the back any democrat, I’m from Puerto Rico and they don’t allow the Police doing políticas campaing. Thas the way it shoul be here to.

  • Tired 😩

    July 25, 2023 at 10:35 am

    Some people do not like to be treaded upon. Like Thomas and thugs. Trying to use your arrest photo for street problems

  • Tired 😩

    July 25, 2023 at 10:53 am

    Soft on crime. That is the whole economy 🤣 in a nut shell. Next nuculer roads to give you more and more cancer’s and deformities

Comments are closed.


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