Florida legislators rush to endorse Rick Perry’s campaign for President

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Not twenty-four hours after former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty dropped out of the race for President – a move offering quite a cautionary tale to those Florida legislators who endorsed Pawlenty early on – several Sunshine State lawmakers have rushed to embrace Texas Governor Rick Perry’s campaign for President.

State senator Don Gaetz, slated to be the next president of the Florida Senate, is the most prominent legislator to endorse Perry, writing on his Facebook page that Perry’s “candidacy blows open the Republican primaries and gives us the best chance to take back our country.”

Also endorsing Perry was Gaetz’ son, state representative Matt Gaetz, as well as St. Petersburg’s Jeff Brandes.  In his signature fashion, the younger Gaetz announced his support via Twitter, writing that it was time to “put a conservative job creator in the White House.”

Which Florida legislators will be next to jump abroad the Perry Express? Well, don’t expect any of those who endorsed Pawlenty to get on board just yet.  Several of them have told me they are still surprised at Pawlenty’s decision to drop out.

Still, Perry seems to be generating a lot of excitement among Florida’s Republican lawmakers.  State Rep. Dana Young posted on her Facebook  page Sunday night, “I’m so glad Gov. Perry entered the race. I love his energy, laser focus, & proven record of job creation. But isn’t an endorsement…yet. :)”

***Update***Add Rep. Clay Ingram to the list of Florida legislators endorsing Rick Perry.  Ingram tweeted on Monday (becoming the fourth lawmaker to endorse Perry in the last 24 hours):

Great start to the week with @GovernorPerry in the race! I’m excited to help him win the nomination and then the White House! #sayfie

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.