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Politics

SD 4: First Coast GOP Rivals Unveil Endorsements

July 17, 2012 - 6:00pm

Two Republicans battling it out in the Aug. 14 primary for an open state Senate seat representing parts of the First Coast scored major endorsements on Wednesday.

Tom Slade, the former chairman of the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF), announced on Wednesday that he is backing former Rep. Aaron Bean over Rep. Mike Weinstein, R-Jacksonville, for the SD 4 seat that represents all of Nassau and parts of Duval County.

I am happy to give Aaron Bean my full support, said Slade in a statement. Aaron has been a part of this community for years, and we would be lucky to have a conservative like him serving our Duval and Nassau counties in the Senate. I enthusiastically stand behind him and know he has what it takes tosucceed for us locally in Tallahassee.

It is an honor to have the support of another great local GOP leader, said Bean. Just like Tom, I am passionate about serving our local community and helping to create brighter futures for the many families that live, work, study and play in the First Coast region. I thank him for his support and look forward to the opportunity to continuing to improve our economy and stimulate job growth.

The endorsement should help Bean, who is based out of Nassau County, cut into Weinsteins base in Jacksonville since Slade also led the Duval County GOP.

But Weinstein garnered a major endorsement on Wednesday, as well, when the Jacksonville Fraternal Order of Police announced it was backing him.

I have worked with Mike Weinstein for years, including in his current role with the state attorneys office, and I know he appreciates and understands the work that the Jacksonville police and corrections officers do every day to keep our city safe," said Nelson Cuba, the Jacksonville FOP president. I can think of no finer person to work with in the Florida State Senate than Mike Weinstein. The Jacksonville Fraternal Order of Police is proud to endorse Mike Weinstein for the Florida state Senate.

I am grateful for the widespread support that I am receiving fromour first responders and public safety professionals, Weinstein said. Working in the state attorneys office, I know the commitment and sacrifice that they make to make sure our communities are safe and I look forward to working with them in the future.

This was not the only endorsement Weinstein unveiled this week that showed off his law-enforcement credentials. Earlier in the week Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi announced that she was backing Weinstein.

Whoever emerges from the Republican primary in August will battle Democratic candidate former Ambassador Nancy Soderberg, who worked in the Clinton administration. She served as an alternate representative to the United Nations and on the National Security Council as deputy assistant to the president for National Security Affairs.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com or at (850) 727-0859.

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