A group trying to reform — and eventually end — greyhound racing in Florida has announced several endorsements in the upcoming Aug. 30 Florida Legislature primary, including five Republicans and four Democrats.

Grey2K USA Worldwide helped fund and promote efforts to get a greyhound protection measure on the Seminole County ballot and has been trying for years to get similar measures through the Florida Legislature.

“We need lawmakers who care about this issue and understand this issue in Tallahassee,” Grey2K USA Executive Director Carey Theil said.

The group’s endorsements include Republicans state Rep. Marlene O’Toole, who is running for the Senate District 12 seat in The Villages; state Rep. Dana Young, who is running in SD 18 in Tampa; state Rep. Matt Hudson, who is running in SD 28 in Naples; state Rep. Paul Renner, who is running for re-election in House District 24; and Randy Fine, who is running HD 53 in Palm Bay.

Democrats endorsed are state Rep. Darryl Rouson, who is running for re-election in HD 19 in St. Petersburg; Alex Barrio, who is running in HD 48 in Orlando; Carlos Guillermo Smith, who is running in HD 49 in Orlando; and David Silver, who is running in HD 87 in West Palm Beach.

“When I was a legislative analyst I followed this issue closely, including the injury reporting bill and decoupling legislation. Injury reporting passed but decoupling legislation still has not. I am staunchly opposed to expanded gambling and would love to see it pulled back, especially if it meant saving the lives of dogs,” Barrio stated. “Dog racing is a cruel, inhumane practice and I want to to see it end. Grey2K knows that I can be and want to be a champion for their issues.”

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