The Florida Professional Firefighters organization, including the St. Petersburg Association of Firefighters Local 747, has officially endorsed the re-election campaign of Charlie Justice.
The endorsement comes with the confidence that Justice will “honorably serve the citizens of Pinellas County” and “the interests of the men and women in the Fire and Emergency Medical Services,” according to the endorsement letters signed by state President Jim Tolley and local President Richard Pauley.
Justice said he was pleased to receive the firefighters’ support.
“I am grateful for the support of our firefighters,” Justice said. “Our commission strongly supports our first responders here in Pinellas. We are proud to work with and support our firefighters and EMS professionals who serve to protect us every day.
“It is one thing to speak in platitudes on holidays. But it takes commitment to make first responders’ issues a priority when it comes to legislating and budgeting.”
Justice has received support from other unions, including the Police Benevolent Association, the AFL-CIO, the Teamsters, the Plumbers and Pipefitters, the Ironworkers, and the Service Employees International Union.
Justice, a Democrat, is facing a challenge from Republican Mike Mikurak, a retired businessman who is running his first campaign.
The two are scheduled to face off Thursday in a debate at a luncheon of the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club.
Justice is seeking his second term on the commission. He is campaigning on the accomplishments of his first term. Among them, he said, are restoring fluoride to county drinking water, “drastically” improving the relationships between the county and Pinellas’ 24 municipalities and resolving disputes between the fire departments and county administration.
The District 3 seat, which Justice holds, is elected countywide. The election is Nov. 8.