Florida’s largest police union is throwing its support to Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Gwen Graham and Republican contender Adam Putnam. The former Congresswoman and the state Agriculture commissioner are among the slate of statewide office endorsements.
“We’re looking for calm. We're looking for leaders to get in the middle of difficult times to provide a calming presence and try to set the course for the future so our communities continue to thrive," says Matt Puckett, Executive Director of the Florida Police Benevolent Association.”
The union is also backing Republican Ashley Moody and Democrat Sean Shaw for Attorney General, Democrat Jeremy Ring for Chief Financial Officer and Republican Matt Caldwell for Agriculture Commissioner.
Absent from the list is the U.S. Senate race where Governor Rick Scott is challenging incumbent Bill Nelson. Yet Puckett says the lack of endorsement doesn't indicate a lack of support for Scott.
“He's been very good for the law enforcement community. He’s been a voice for increasing their salaries and he’s been very strong in backing the families of fallen officers. So despite our lack of endorsement it doesn’t mean that we haven’t received support from his administration and that we haven’t supported him."
Still, the PBA hasn't endorsed either of Scott's gubernatorial bids. In 2014 it backed former Republican-turned Democrat Charlie Crist. In 2012, it was then-Cheif Financial Officer Alex Sink, also a Democrat. The union also backed former Republican Governor Jeb Bush in all three of his gubernatorial campaigns.