Ben Albritton earns endorsement from Bartow officials

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Republican Rep. Ben Albritton’s 2018 Senate campaign touted endorsements from a pair of Bartow elected officials Thursday.

Bartow Mayor James Clements and City Commissioner Trish Pfeiffer said they are backing the HD 56 lawmaker for the SD 26 seat currently held by Republican Sen. Denise Grimsley, who is running for Ag. Commissioner.

“Ben Albritton has served in the Florida House with vision and integrity,” Clements said. “He’s been there for Bartow when we truly needed his support. I’m confident he’ll continue to deliver for us in the Florida Senate.”

Pfeiffer said it was important for voters to put their “faith in someone that has the moral and ethical heart that will represent us and not forget about our interests here at home.”

“I may not always agree with the eventual outcomes of the tough decisions that political leaders are charged with making, but a well informed, educated leader and a candidate that remembers where he came from and who he represents makes it an easy choice. That is why I am endorsing Ben Albritton for the Florida State Senate,” she said.

Albritton said he was “grateful for the support” from the local officials and added that he is looking forward to “working with them and other local leaders across District 26 to make sure issues of importance in their communities receive the attention they need and deserve in Tallahassee.”

Albritton would have faced term limits in the Florida House in the 2018 cycle, which makes Grimsley’s planned early exit from the Senate quite fortuitous for the Wauchula citrus grower. So far, he is the only candidate to declare for 2018.

SD 26 includes the area currently represented by Albritton in the House – DeSoto, Hardee and part of Polk – as well as the whole of Glades, Highlands and Okeechobee counties and a small section northwestern Lee County.

There are about 27,000 more registered Republicans than Democrats in the district and much like the pre-redistricting SD 21 seat it replaced, Republicans dominate the district at the polls.

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for SaintPetersBlog and While at the University of Florida, Wilson was an editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and after graduation, he moved to Los Angeles to cover business deals for The Hollywood Reporter. Before joining Extensive Enterprises, Wilson covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools.