Florida Medical Association PAC, the largest supporter of pro-medicine candidates statewide, endorses four incumbents to return to the Florida legislature.
FMA PAC announced on Thursday its support of State Sen. Geraldine Thompson in her bid for Senate District 12, Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto for Senate District 30, Sen. John Thrasher for Senate District 6, and state Rep. Jamie Grant for House District 64.
Thompson, an Orlando Democrat, faces Republicans Edward DeAguilera and Fritz Seide, as well as Democrat Gary Siplin for the east that covers parts of Orange County.
“The Florida Medical Association is proud to support Senator Geraldine Thompson in her re-election campaign,” said FMA PAC President Dr. Ralph Nobo. “She has made health care a priority, and we look forward to working with her on solutions to improve access to health care in Florida.”
“Florida’s doctors are on the front lines of providing quality health care to Florida’s residents and visitors,” Thompson said. “I support their work and am pleased to have their support of my continued work in the Florida Senate.”
Benacquisto, who serves as Senate GOP Majority Leader, faces Michael Driekorn for the seat covering parts of Charlotte and Lee Counties.
“We are proud to stand with Lizbeth Benacquisto, who consistently protects the relationship between doctors and their patients,” Nobo said, adding that she “understands the complexities surrounding access to quality healthcare through her work on the Cancer Treatment Fairness Act.”
“Together, Florida’s medical doctors and I have fought to protect our children from the harmful effects of electronic cigarettes and to increase access to oral cancer treatment through the Cancer Treatment Fairness Act,” Benacquisto responded. “I am grateful for the support of the medical community and look forward to working alongside them for Florida’s families.”
Nobo also recognized Thrasher for his two decades as FMA’s General Counsel, saying he has a “deep understanding of the obstacles patients and health care providers face as they navigate our current health care system.”
The Jacksonville Republican faces Republican Derek Hankerson, Democrat Kathleen Trued and no-party-affiliation candidate Greg Feldman in the race to represent Flagler, Putnam, and St. Johns Counties, as well as part of Volusia County.
As for Grant, Nobo said the Tampa Republican “understands that we have to look to the future to set good health care policy.”
“Today’s system won’t work in a decade,” Nobo added, “and lawmakers like Representative Grant are invaluable to developing modern solutions that mean greater access to care tomorrow.”
“Like the FMA,” Grant responded, “I believe that making health care work better begins with embracing innovation and market-driven solutions.”
Grant faces Republican Miriam Steinberg and write-in candidate Daniel Matthews for the district that covers parts of Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.
Founded in 1974, FMA PAC backs state office candidates seeking to advance Florida’s medical community. Through voluntary contributions from healthcare professionals, FMA evaluates candidates who strongly support the state’s medical professionals. As Florida’s leading medical PAC, FMA raised over $1 million in 2013.