Five Republicans either scheduled to be or in the running to be Senate president in the future issued a joint endorsement of Rep. John Legg on Thursday, throwing their weight behind the New Port Richey Republican in his primary race against former House member Rob Wallace and John Korsak, a security and emergency response consultant, reports the News Service of Florida.
The endorsement was issued on behalf of incoming Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Niceville; Senate Majority Leader Andy Gardiner, who’s slated to take over the chamber in 2014; and three future contenders for the office in Sen. Jack Latvala, Sen. Joe Negron, and Sen. John Thrasher.
“Representative Legg has been lifted up by his community for his strong record of service and leadership and chosen by his fellow legislators as Speaker Pro Tempore of the House of Representatives,” the statement says. “He will enter the Senate as a respected, powerful voice for the Tampa Bay area.” The statement is unusual because some observers expected Latvala, Negron and Thrasher to use the GOP primaries as proxy campaigns to reshape future races for Senate president. Incumbent Sen. Jim Norman, a Tampa Republican thought to be a Latvala supporter, withdrew from the race earlier this week. Legg had already secured an endorsement from incoming House Speaker Will Weatherford.