State Rep. Ray Rodrigues, R-Estero, continued his impressive start out of the gate in his state Senate bid as every member of the Southwest Florida delegation except a fellow state representative threw their support to him.
Running for the seat currently held by term-limited state Sen. Lizbeth Benaquisto, R-Ft. Myers, Rodrigues announced on Monday that state Sen. Ben Albritton, R-Bartow, state Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Naples, state Rep. Mike Grant, R-Port Charlotte, state Rep. Spencer Roach, R-North Ft. Myers, and state Rep. Bob Rommel, R-Naples, were backing his campaign.
Benaquisto, state House Majority Leader Dane Eagle, R-Cape Coral, Sen. Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby, who is penciled in as the next Senate president, Senate Majority Leader Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, and Sen. Travis Hutson, R-St. Augustine, who are angling for the Senate presidency down the road, are also behind Rodrigues. This latest round of endorsements leaves state Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen, R-Ft. Myers, as the only member of the Southwest Florida delegation not to back Rodrigues.
“We have been able to achieve great things in Tallahassee because we work together as a team with unified goals,” said Rodrigues. “We have always taken a community first approach to dealing with the issues important to our region and I look forward to continuing those relationships and working together for Southwest Florida in the Senate.”
“Ray is a dedicated servant leader who clearly has a heart for his family and community,” Albritton said. “Every day Ray walks with integrity, passion and honor. Nothing could give me more satisfaction than to stand with him in his campaign for the Florida Senate.”
“Ray is the kind of proven conservative Southwest Florida can count on to fight for the issues that matter most to our families, small business owners and first responders,” Donalds said. “He is a great friend and I am proud to endorse him for the Florida Senate.”
“Southwest Florida deserves a fierce advocate like Ray Rodrigues in the Florida Senate. His proven leadership on school choice, cleaning up our waterways and keeping our communities safe makes him the ideal candidate to represent Southwest Florida’s shared conservative values,” Grant said.
“Ray has earned the trust of the public through his unwavering commitment to conservative principles and steady leadership style. I am proud to call him a friend and offer my highest possible endorsement for him to serve as our next state Senator.” Roach said.
“Ray Rodrigues has always been willing to take on the tough fights. Because of his courage Florida is leading the nation in education reform and health care reform. Ray is a principled conservative and I’m proud to consider him a friend. Ray will make a great Senator and he will have my full support,” Rommel said.
So far, Rodrigues is the only candidate running for the seat which represents parts of Lee County. The seat is generally considered safe for Republicans.