Police unions line up behind Sam Greco for HD 19

The Florida FOP and PBA joined several elected officials in backing Greco.

Florida’s major police unions are throwing their support behind Sam Greco’s campaign to succeed in House District 19.

“The issues facing law enforcement in Florida are not only important to our members but also our families. Our members go to work every day not knowing if they will return and our families face this reality daily. Not only did you show you are keenly aware of our top priorities, you understand supporting law enforcement makes all our communities a better place to live and work,” Florida Fraternal Order of Police President Steve Zona said.

“You have served our country in the U.S. Navy and understand the definition of sacrifice.  There is no better qualified candidate and we know, to our core, you will fight tirelessly for us in Tallahassee.”

The association-wide endorsement was issued after members of the local-level FOP branch, Lodge District 2, said Greco was their candidate of choice. In a separate letter, District 2 Director Edwin Hernandez Sr. wrote, “We know you will fight for us and for the entire community in Tallahassee.

The state’s other major police org, the Florida Police Benevolent Association, also endorsed Greco over the weekend.

“You have demonstrated a clear understanding of the sacrifices our members make every day, as they risk their lives to keep communities safe throughout our state,” Florida Police Benevolent Association PresidentJohn “Kaz” Kazanjian said.

“… With your military service and conservative values, we trust in your commitment to ensuring that the votes you cast in Tallahassee will always have the best interests of our members, their families, and their communities in mind. “

The PBA endorsement comes after the Republican field narrowed to two at the end of the candidate qualifying period. The union previously endorsed James St. George, who chose to fold rather than press forward with a campaign that had lost considerable momentum following Greco’s entry and subsequent clean sweep on lawmaker endorsements.

Greco’s quiver includes HD 19’s current occupant, House Speaker Paul Renner, as well as Speaker Pro Tempore Chuck Clemons, Reps. Wyman Duggan, Bobby Payne and Cyndi Stevenson. State Attorney R.J. Larizza, whose circuit encompasses the Flagler County-based House district, has also thrown in for Greco.

St. George’s exit likely spares the district from an expensive primary season for the open seat.

Though Greco isn’t unopposed in August, the other competitor, Darryl Boyer, doesn’t appear to have deep pockets or a robust donor network — he’s raised about $56,000 over the past year and chipped in another $10,000 via candidate loans. Greco, meanwhile, is approaching $150,000 raised from donors on top of his own $20,000 ante.

Greco’s campaign account had about $127,000 on hand as of June 14. Boyer’s war chest was stocked with about $41,000 through the same date.

HD 19’s partisan lean virtually ensures the Republican nominee succeed Renner — U.S. Sen. Marco Rubioand Gov. Ron DeSantis each carried the district with three-quarters of the vote two years ago. Still, the GOP standard-bearer will face nominal opposition from Democratic nominee Adam Morley in November.

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.


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