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Florida firefighters’ union endorses Chris Latvala in HD 67

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Largo Republican Rep. Chris Latvala announced Tuesday that he has picked up an endorsement from the Florida Professional Firefighters in his  re-election campaign.

“We commend you on your willingness to run for and serve in public office, and because of that, the Florida Professional Firefighters wish to endorse and support your campaign for re-election to the Florida House of Representatives, District 67,” FPF President Jim Tolley said.

“We believe that you will continue to honorably serve the citizens of Florida, and the interests of the men and women employed in the fire and emergency medical services, who have made the protection of life and property their life’s work,” he continued.

FPF’s written endorsement also included the organization’s stance on its core legislative issues, among which are an opposition to changing defined benefit pension funds, maintaining the Florida Public Employee Relations Commission and other bargaining units, and standing against any new laws that would eliminate payroll dues deductions.

Latvala has held the HD 67 seat since 2014, when he took over for his former boss, termed-out Republican Rep. Ed Hooper.

The first term representative is being challenged by Democrat David Vogel in his re-election campaign, though the incumbent had built up a massive fundraising lead as of April 30.

Latvala’s most recent campaign finance report shows him with about $68,000 on hand compared to just $250 for Vogel, who filed for the seat on March 2.

According to voter statistics from 2014, HD 67 has a fairly even split between Republicans and Democrats. In his first election, Latvala was able to beat Democrat Stephen Sarnoff with 53 percent of the vote on Election Day.

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for SaintPetersBlog and While at the University of Florida, Wilson was an editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and after graduation, he moved to Los Angeles to cover business deals for The Hollywood Reporter. Before joining Extensive Enterprises, Wilson covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools.

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