Republican state Sens. Jeff Brandes of St. Petersburg and Dana Young of Tampa on Friday endorsed former state Rep. Ed Hooper in his quest to replace Clearwater Sen. Jack Latvala, who is term-limited in 2018.
Brandes called Hooper “a true advocate for his community … thoughtful, collaborative, and trusted.”
“These are some of the best qualities in a Senator and I’m happy to endorse him in his campaign for the State Senate,” he said. “He will help make Florida a more prosperous state for generations to come.”
Added Young, who left the House for the Senate last year: “As a former colleague of Ed’s, I can tell you from firsthand experience that he is a true leader and highly respected. I know he will make an excellent Senator and represent the people of Pinellas and Pasco counties with dignity and honor.”
Hooper said he was “honored” by the endorsements. Senate District 16 includes northern Pinellas and part of southwestern Pasco.
“They’ve set an example of how to work together to seek common sense and innovative solutions to Florida’s challenges,” he said. “Their continued leadership will make Florida a better place to live, work, visit, and retire.”
Hooper, a retired fire Lieutenant, served on the Clearwater City Council before spending eight years in the Florida House. He was term-limited in 2014. His only declared opposition is Democrat Bernie Fensterwald.