It’s a big pick-up in an open race.
Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is endorsing Rep. Javier Fernandez in the race for Florida’s Senate District 39.
Fried, the only Democratic statewide elected official in Florida, is the latest endorsement coup for Fernandez. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell had already come out for Fernandez, as had all 17 members of the Senate Democratic Caucus and the Florida AFL-CIO.
“Rep. Javier Fernandez is the leader South Florida needs in the state Senate,” said Fried. “Javier has shown his commitment to standing up for our public schools, dealing with climate change and to passing common sense gun safety measures like HB 807, legislation we worked on together that would close loopholes to help keep guns out of the hands of the wrong people.
“As Florida navigates new challenges facing our state and a slow economic recovery, I know Javier is the right person to help lead South Florida towards a brighter future. I am proud to endorse him in Senate District 39 and look forward to working with him in his new role in Tallahassee.”
Fernandez, who grew up in the district he seeks to lead, will contest the Democratic primary against Dan Horton-Jenkins on August 18. The race also has a Republican candidate in Rep. Ana Maria Rodriguez and a non-party affiliated candidate in Celso Alfonso.
Fernandez, 45 years old, currently represents Florida’s 144th House District. He’s raised more than $200,000 in his bid to be a state senator.
Rodriguez represents House District 105 and has raised more than $400,000.
Senate District 39 consists of Monroe County and parts of southern Miami-Dade. The incumbent in SD39, Anitere Flores, was not able to seek re-election due to term limits.
Flores backed Rodriguez to win the district last August.
Fernandez is hoping to bank the Fried endorsement and carry momentum into next month’s primary.
“Commissioner Nikki Fried has shown that she is dedicated to improving the lives of Floridians with the work she puts in on their behalf every day,” said Fernandez.
“It was an honor to work with Commissioner Fried on common sense gun safety reform this year and to stand with her as we work to combat food insecurity for Florida families during this pandemic. I am excited to have her endorsement and to continue to move our state forward together when I am elected to the state Senate.”