Florida Politics: SEIU Florida endorses Shevrin Jones in SD 35

Jones is one of six candidates competing for the Democratic nomination.

The Florida arm of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is backing Democratic Rep. Shevrin Jones in the upcoming primary for Senate District 35.

“Across the state, SEIU Florida members provide vital services as nurses and doctors in our hospitals and nursing homes, instructional and support staff at public schools and state colleges, municipal and county governments employees, and property service employees at malls, airports, and universities,” Jones said in a Tuesday statement.

“I am humbled and honored to have their support in this race.”

SEIU Florida represents more than 55,000 active and retired workers in the state. Jones referenced the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak in discussing the newest endorsement.

“The ongoing public health crisis has underscored the need for us to protect all workers, across sectors, especially those on the frontlines who are unsung heroes,” Jones said.

“Workers deserve hazard pay, paid sick leave, protective equipment, and a living wage, but it shouldn’t take a crisis like this pandemic to make those items a reality.”

Jones has represented House District 101 for eight years and is term-limited out of office this cycle, leading him to pursue the SD 35 seat. Former Sen. Daphne Campbell, former firefighter Wilbur Harbin, Miami Gardens City Councilman Erhabor Ighodaro, former Rep. Cynthia Stafford and outgoing Rep. Barbara Watson are also competing for the Democratic nomination.

Write-in candidate Darien Hill also qualified just before Friday’s deadline. That means the Aug. 18 Democratic primary will be closed to registered Democratic voters only.

Jones has led the contest in fundraising. In May, he crossed the $425,000 mark between his campaign and his political committee, Florida Strong Finish.

Jones says he will appeal to SEIU Florida’s concerns should he win office later this year.

“I entered public service to fight for a truly just society — where all workers are valued, and all families and communities can thrive — because all workers are essential,” Jones said.

“We can and must do better. The strength of our communities depends upon it.”


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