Florida Senate President Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, announced on Tuesday morning that he was backing Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera to take U.S Sen. Marco Rubio’s, R-Fla., place in the Senate. Rubio is not running for a second term.
Gardiner joins state Attorney General Pam Bondi, Florida House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island, and more than half of Republicans sitting in the Florida Legislature in endorsing Lopez-Cantera who served as state House majority leader in 2011 and 2012.
On Tuesday, Gardiner pointed to Lopez-Cantera’s record in Tallahassee as why he was supporting him.
“In Florida, Carlos has been a leader in limiting government’s influence into the lives of everyday Floridians and the result has created less taxes, less regulation, and more freedom for citizens to achieve economic independence,” Gardiner said. “Carlos has a record of conservative leadership focused on delivering results, which contrasts with the empty Washington rhetoric we have become accustomed to. I am proud to support Carlos, and I look forward to working to ensure he is our next U.S. senator from Florida.”
“I am honored and humbled to receive the support of Senate President Andy Gardiner,” Lopez-Cantera said. “I’ve worked with Andy for a number of years, and his commitment to Florida’s success and economic freedom is going to be an incredible asset as he joins the team. As Andy and I continue to work together on this campaign, I appreciate his efforts as we send the message to Washington that it is time for a Florida Republican in the U.S. Senate.”
Lopez-Cantera faces a crowded primary field for the Republican nomination. Florida Republican U.S. Reps. Ron DeSantis and David Jolly are also running. So is Manatee County businessman Carlos Beruff. Also in the mix is businessman and Army veteran Todd Wilcox.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter: @KevinDerbySSN