Yvonne Fry’s Florida House campaign received a major boost Monday with the endorsement of Dan Raulerson, the former lawmaker she is hoping to succeed in House District 58.
Raulerson, who resigned in August due to health concerns, announced his support in a statement: “Yvonne Fry is the only person in this race that will truly represent the interests of District 58. Her experience and countless hours of service to her community has shown that Yvonne was committed to District 58 long before deciding to run for office. “
Raulerson added: “She is a conservative who will tirelessly advocate for the residents of District 58. She will stand up to Tallahassee special interests and those in leadership who do not have the best interest of our community at heart. I am proud to endorse Yvonne Fry and I urge you to join me in voting for Yvonne,” Raulerson added.
In response, Fry called Raulerson a “good friend” and a “strong, outspoken advocate for District 58.”
Raulerson’s “willingness to stand up for the district, regardless of the Tallahassee pressure being applied, is inspiring and I look forward to following the example he set,” Fry said. “Dan Raulerson is District 58, we were all sad to see him go, and I am humbled by his support and endorsement. I am strengthened by his confidence in me and I promise always to continue to earn it.”
In backing Fry, Raulerson joins a long list of supporters, including former Florida Governor Bob Martinez, Attorney General Pam Bondi, state Rep. Ross Spano, Hillsborough County Tax Collector Doug Belden, Hillsborough County Commissioner Al Higginbotham, Hillsborough County School Board Member Melissa Snively, former School Superintendent and Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Earl Lennard, Plant City Mayor Rick Lott, Plant City Vice Mayor William Dodson, Plant City Commissioners Nate Kilton, Mary Mathis, Mike Sparkman, former Plant City Mayor Randy Larson and former Temple Terrace Mayor Joe Affronti.
Fry faces businessperson and Hillsborough County Farm Bureau board member Lawrence McClure in the special election primary Oct. 10; the general election is Dec. 19, just a month before state lawmakers head back to Tallahassee for the 2018 Legislative Session.
So far, Jose Vasquez is the lone Democrat in the HD 58 race. Libertarian candidate Bryan Zemina and non-party-affiliated (but Green Party-oriented) candidate Ahmad Saaldaldin round out the field.