The Florida State Fraternal Order of Police on Saturday endorsed state Senator Jack Latvala for governor, adding to a growing list of first responders who are throwing their weight behind the Clearwater Republican.
The endorsement, which carries influence with more than 22,000 members in 104 lodges, came after the the Florida State Lodge Board meeting in Jacksonville.
“There have been decades of support shown to the Fraternal Order of Police along with other first responders,” Florida State Lodge FOP President Robert Jenkins. “It is this unwavering dedication to the men and women wearing the badge that prompts our decision to endorse Jack Latvala for Florida Governor.”
As People’s Pundit Daily previously reported, Mr. Latvala has landed numerous firefighter endorsements early in the Florida gubernatorial election. Firefighters in St. Petersburg, Coral Gables and Indian River County recently joined Miami, Orlando, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton and Boynton Beach in endorsing the state legislator.
“He always has our back, so we back Jack!” added Mr. Jenkins, who called the lawmaker “a tireless advocate” for men and women in law enforcement.
Mr. Latvala–who represents a district that includes parts of Pasco, Polk and Hillsborough counties –is one of 10 declared Republicans seeking the nomination in the race to replace Governor Rick Scott. He declared his gubernatorial on August 11, 2017.
“There is no doubt that all the things we hold most dear start with living in safe communities because without that it is nearly impossible to do the rest,” said Mr. Latvala. “Police officers are so critical to all of us, it is a true honor to be endorsed by this exceptional group of law enforcement professionals.”
He’s worked to protect the Florida Retirement System (FRS) and pay raises for first responders, as well as introduced legislation to create the Florida Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) Alert system, which honors fallen law enforcement officers with a specialty license plate.
There are also 5 declared Democratic candidates hoping to earn the chance to replace Gov. Scott, who cannot seek a third term due to term limits. He has governed effectively under a Republican trifecta. A recent analysis on People’s Pundit Daily (PPD) revealed Gov. Scott has far surpassed his economic promises made before he was first elected in 2010.
While Florida is characterized as a Battleground on the PPD Election Projection Model, Gov. Scott’s economic success could give the eventual GOP nominee a slight edge. PPD’s Battleground State Likely Voter Profiles shows the Sunshine State marginally favoring the Republican Party.
Mr. Latvala also represented District 16–including parts of Pasco County and Pinellas County–when he previously served in the Florida State Senate from 1994 to 2002. He chaired the Government Oversight, Banking and Insurance and Natural Resources committees.
His roots in District 16 and District 20 could prove key in a general election. They are both Pivot Districts, which means they host at least parts of one or more counties that have voted for Republican and Democratic candidates on the gubernatorial and/or presidential levels.