Endorsement watch: Florida Parents Against Common Core, Republican Liberty Caucus of Florida, Florida Retail Federation and others issue endorsements

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There’s less than two months until Floridians start casting votes, and organizations across the state are rolling out endorsements for state and federal candidates.

Several organizations — including the Republican Liberty Caucus of Florida, the National Federation of Independent Business, and the Florida Chamber of Commerce — issued endorsements this week.

Florida Parents Against Common Core has thrown its support behind Rebecca Negron.

The organization announced this week it was endorsing Negron in Florida’s 18th Congressional District. In a statement this week, the organization said Negron, a Martin County School Board member, has worked to make sure parents “have a priority voice in the education of their children.”

“If elected to Congress Ms. Negron’s ultimate goal for education on the federal level will be to return ED back to the states, a necessary move consistent with the almost unanimous support of our parents,” said Laura Zorc, one of the original co-founders of the group, in a statement. “Negron’s believe that the best decisions in education are made by those closest to the student and neighborhood school, which are parents and classroom teachers, gives us confidence she will take the principles she practiced on the school board to Washington, D.C.”

Negron will face Carl DominoMark FreemanRick KozellBrian Mast, and Noelle Nikpour in Florida’s 18th Congressional District.

The Republican Liberty Caucus of Florida threw its support behind Mike Hill in his Senate District 1 bid.

In a statement this week, RLC Florida Chairman Bob White said the Pensacola Beach Republican was a superior choice for the Florida Senate.

“We believe that less government means more liberty and we work through local chapters and with our member activists all over the country to oppose government excess and demand accountability to the people and the Constitution,” said White in a statement. “We have followed Mike Hill’s career as a member of the Florida House of Representatives and before that, his tenure as President of the Northwest Florida Tea Party. Mike has championed these same principles and values and we are convinced that he is the superior choice for the Florida Senate in District 1”.

Hill faces Doug Broxson in the Aug. 30 Republican primary. In a statement this week, Hill said he was honored to receive the group’s support.

“I appreciate the confidence of the Republican Liberty Caucus of Florida and I am thankful for their support” he said. “They are one of those organizations that work hard to make a difference on behalf of their members working within the legislative process.”

The Republican Liberty Caucus also announced it was endorsing Matt Hudson in Senate District 28.

“Matt Hudson has been an outstanding leader in the Florida House of Representatives,” said White. “He has championed these same principles and values and we are convinced that he is the superior choice for the Florida Senate in District 28.”

Hudson faces Kathleen Passiodmo, also a Naples Republican and state representative, in the Senate District 28 race.

“The Republican Liberty Caucus of Florida has made a difference year after year in Tallahassee,” said Hudson. “I look forward to continuing our working relationship as a member of the Florida Senate.”

The Florida Retail Federation is backing Anitere Flores in the Senate District 39 race.

“Senator Flores has been a longtime supporter of retailers’ needs, including sponsoring or supporting the popular back-to-school sales tax holidays, the Energy Star sales tax holiday and this year she sponsored successful legislation that protects consumers from gas pump skimmer fraud,” said Randy Miller, the president and CEO of the Florida Retail Federation. “She has been a terrific partner in recognizing the importance of making Florida a retail-friendly and business-friendly state, and we look forward to the great things she’ll continue to do as the Senator for Florida’s 39th District.”

Flores faces Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell in the general election.

The National Federation of Independent Business announced its endorsements in several House and Senate races this week.

The group — which is Florida’s largest small-business association — backed endorsed Dean Asher in Senate District 13; Dorothy Hukill in Senate District 14; Joe Negron, the incoming Senate president, in Senate District 25, Dennis Baxley in Senate District 12, Ritch Workman in Senate District 17.

On the House side, the group endorsed David Santiago in House District 27, Jason Brodeur in House District 28, Scott Plakon in House District 29, Bob Cortes, in House District 30, Jennifer Sullivan in House District 31, Mike La Rosa in House District 42, Mike Miller in House District 47, Rene Plasencia in House District 50, Tom Goodson in House District 51, MaryLynn Magar in House District 82 and Gayle Harrell in House District 83, Randy Fine in House District 53, and Sykes Lange in House District 54.

“Small business owners are facing huge workers compensation hikes from bad Florida Supreme Court opinions. Electing a pro-small business legislature has never been more important,” said Bill Herrle, the executive director of the National Federation of Independent Business Florida, in a statement. “The endorsed candidates have demonstrated that they genuinely understand the challenges that small business owners in Florida are facing.”

Rep. Jay Fant has thrown his support behind Sheri Treadwell.

Fant, who represents House District 15, announced his endorsement of Treadwell in the House District 11 bid.

“Sheri Treadwell’s conservative credentials make her the leader we need in the Florida House,” said Fant. “District 11 voters can count on her to be a trusted voice for our Northeast Florida values of limited government and more freedom, and I look forward to working with her.”

Treadwell said she was honored to receive his support.

“Jay Fant has quickly distinguished himself as a strong conservative leader in Northeast Florida,” said Treadwell. “I am honored to have his support, and I look forward to joining him in Tallahassee to work toward our shared priorities of lower taxes, fewer burdensome regulations, and making sure our area offers opportunities for everyone to get ahead.”

Treadwell faces Wayne BunkCord ByrdJack Daniels and Donnie Horner in the Aug. 30 Republican primary.

The Florida Chamber of Commerce announced this week it endorsed more than a dozen candidates in state House and Senate candidates.

In the state Senate, the organization endorsed Bill Montford in Senate District 3, Travis Hutson in Senate District 7, Jack Latvala in Senate District in Senate District 16, Jeff Brandes in Senate District 24, Joe Negron in Senate District 25, Rene Garcia in Senate District 36, Anitere Flores in Senate District 39, and Dorothy Hukill in Senate District 14.

In the state House, the organization endorsed Blaise Ingoglia in House District 35, Ross Spano in House District 59, Larry Ahern in House District 65, Gayle Harrell in House District 83, Jose Oliva in House District 110, and Bryan Avila in House District 111.

“Now, more than ever, Florida needs leaders in the Florida Legislature that will ensure the long-term needs of Florida’s families and small businesses are placed before short-term political fixes and special interest agendas,” said Marian Johnson, senior vice president of political operations for the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

Lizbeth Benacquisto has received the support of the 2016 Estero Citizens Review Committee.

The committee announced its endorsement in a letter to Benacquisto this week. In it, the committee said it looked forward to working with her to “implement our shared vision.”

“I am honored to have the support of the Estero Citizens Candidate Review Committee,” said Benacquisto. “The people of Estero work hard each and every day toward a community they can be proud of, and I am honored to have their support.”

Benacquisto faces Republican Jason Maughan in Senate District 27.

Bob Rommel has received the backing on Collier County Commissioner Donna Fiala.

Fiala, who was first elected in 2000, endorsed Rommel in House District 106. In a statement, Fiala said the Naples Republican would bring “real-world perspective” to the Florida House.

“His experience as a successful, conservative businessman will bring a real-world perspective that is sorely needed in Tallahassee,” she said in a statement. “We can count on him to champion policies that will lower taxes and lead to job creation and increased opportunity, and I look forward to working with him to move Collier County forward.”

Rommel faces Lavigne Ann Kirkpatrick and Nick Ballo in the Aug. 30 Republican primary.

“Commissioner Fiala is a dedicated public servant, and I am honored to have her support,” said Rommel. “I look forward to working with her to make sure the policies coming out of Tallahassee promote free enterprise, economic growth, and opportunity in our area and around the state.”

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Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.