‘Fortunate to have someone like you’: First responder unions back Debra Tendrich for HD 89

Debra Tendrich
‘Your advocacy for, and understanding of, public safety issues is commendable.’

Debra Tendrich’s bid for the open House District 89 seat now has the backing of two Palm Beach County unions that together represent some 7,500 first responders.

The Palm Beach Police Benevolent Association (PBA) and Professional Firefighters/Paramedics of Palm Beach Local 2928 (IAFF 2928) this month confirmed their endorsements of Tendrich, a nonprofit executive and one of three candidates running in HD 89.

According to their websites, the PBA collectively bargains on behalf of more than 5,000 law enforcement professionals. The firefighters and paramedics group, meanwhile, represents more than 2,400 members.

“Your advocacy for, and understanding of, public safety issues is commendable,” read a joint letter from IAFF 2928 President Jeffrey Newsome and Vice Presidents Cameron May and DJ Manger.

“You have demonstrated that you can lead and are not afraid to do so. The residents of the state of Florida are fortunate to have someone like you who is working tirelessly for their interests.”

Tendrich said she is grateful for the groups’ support and committed to “working tirelessly to address the issues facing our communities (while supporting) the brave men and women who serve and protect us every day.”

“As I continue to campaign across District 89,” she said, “we will continue to build upon this momentum, engaging with constituents, listening to their concerns, and offering solutions to promote safety, prosperity, and justice for all.”

The union endorsements join nods from close to 40 elected community leaders who want to see Tendrich succeed term-limited Lake Clarke Shores Rep. David Silvers, a fellow Democrat. Her supporters include U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, Boca Raton Sen. Tina Polsky, Kissimmee Sen. Vic Torres, Orlando Rep. Anna Eskamani and Wellington Rep. Katherine Waldron.

Tendrich, the founder and leader of the Eat Better Live Better nonprofit, is set to face lawyer Destinie Baker Sutton in a Democratic Primary. Sutton raised $42,000 between late January, when she entered the race, and March 31. Tendrich collected $21,000 since filing in July.

The winner will take on Republican private school administrator Daniel Zapata, who has amassed nearly $15,000 since launching his bid last March.

Lately a toss-up district, HD 89 stretches east from Greenacres to Lake Worth Beach, north from Atlantis to Cloud Lake and contains Lake Clarke Shores and Palm Springs.

Its noteworthy landmarks include the Atlantis Country Club, Palm Beach County Park Airport, Palm Beach State College West Palm Beach Golf Course and the Trump International Golf Club.

The Primary Election is on Aug. 20, followed by the General Election on Nov. 5.

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.


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