TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — At an official campaign event for his 2022 reelection bid for U.S. Senate, Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) was endorsed by 55 of Florida’s sheriffs. The event was one of two at the Hyatt Regency in Jacksonville, with a follow-up event helmed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is also running for reelection in 2022.
The Rubio campaign noted that the gathering of sheriffs who endorsed Sen. Rubio for his 2022 midterm campaign was bipartisan, notable during an increasingly polarized political landscape following the 2020 Presidential Election.
Of Florida’s 67 counties and sheriffs’ offices, only 12 were not present for the endorsement at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Jacksonville. All 10 sheriffs in Tampa Bay were present and endorsed the incumbent Senator at the Jacksonville event.
“I’m honored by this endorsement. This speaks to more than just politics, it speaks to the direction of our country,” Senator Rubio said at the press conference. “And I think this is a direction that is incredibly important and badly needed and that’s why I’m so grateful to be with all of them here today and I’m eternally grateful for your support. And you can continue to always count on mine.”
Rubio is running for his third term in the U.S. Senate. Should he win, he’ll add six more years to his time in Washington, for a total of 18. The senator was previously endorsed by former President Donald Trump for reelection, but faces a crowded primary, with six confirmed opponents at this time.
The Democratic Party ticket to contest the seat is also a full ticket, with 12 candidates confirmed, notably Val Demings, a current member of U.S. Congress from Orlando.
From the 67 sheriffs in the state, endorsements did not come from Alachua, Broward, Franklin, Gadsden, Lafayette, Leon, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach and St. Lucie counties. The 11 sheriffs who did not endorse Rubio was also a bipartisan group, though it notably had a Democratic majority. Miami-Dade County does not have a sheriff, but a Director of the Police Department. He also declined to endorse Sen. Rubio.
Gov. DeSantis was endorsed by 59 of the state’s 67 sheriffs at his own event following Rubio’s, in the same location.