Florida Senate endorsement blowout in Merchant-Benacquisto primaryby George Bennett | July 1st, 2009
Former state Rep. Merchant today launched her campaign for the West Palm Beach-to-Fort Myers seat and announced that she’s been endorsed by nine members of the Senate. Two of her backers — Sens. Paula Dockery of Lakeland and Alex Villalobos of Miami — stood with Merchant as she made her announcement at her family’s equipment rental business in West Palm Beach.
Benacquisto, who entered the race last month, has endorsements from eight Senators.
So 17 of the 26 Republicans in the Florida Senate have already taken sides for a primary that’s nearly 14 months off. Merchant and Benacquisto are vying for the seat of Sen. Dave Aronberg, D-Greenacres, who’s running for attorney general.
Read the endorsement lineups after the jump…..
Republican Senators endorsing Sharon Merchant (9):
Lee Constantine, Nancy Detert, Paula Dockery, Rudy Garcia, Dennis Jones, Evelyn Lynn, Durell Peaden Jr., Alex Villalobos, Stephen Wise.
Republican Senators endorsing Lizbeth Benacquisto (8):
President Jeff Atwater, Michael Bennett, Majority Leader Alex Diaz de la Portilla, Don Gaetz, Andy Gardiner, Mike Haridopolos, Ken Pruitt, Garrett Richter.
Republican Senators who haven’t endorsed (9):
J.D. Alexander, Thad Altman, Carey Baker, Victor Crist, Charlie Dean, Mike Fasano, Jim King, Steve Oelrich, Ronda Storms.