Endorsements from U.S. Rep. Darren Soto, state Sen. Victor Torres, and state Rep. Amy Mercado were among eight announced Thursday by the Orange County mayoral campaign of Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings.

In addition to the trio of Democratic lawmakers from Orlando – Demings also is a Democrat though the race is officially non-partisan – he received the endorsements from several organizations, notably the Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association, and from Orlando City Commissioner Tony Ortiz, his campaign announced on Thursday.

The Hispanic Civil Alliance of Central Florida, the the Orlando Regional Realtor Association Board of Directors, and the West Orange Political Alliance also endorsed Demings, his campaign announced.

Demings faces Orange County Commissioner Pete Clarke and Winter Park entrepreneur Rob Panepinto in the Orange County mayor’s race. Clarke and Panepinto are both registered as Republicans.

“Jerry Demings has demonstrated a commitment to the citizens through his 37 years of government service. At a time when anti-immigrant moves have been made nationwide Sheriff Demings has stood with the Hispanic community,” Soto stated in a news release issued by Demings campaign. “He has the knowledge and abilities to improve Orange County government. As a leader he always puts the people first. As the next mayor of Orange County he will bring diversity and experience to the office. I am confident he is the best candidate for the job.”

Rich Maladecki, president and chief executive officer of the hotel and lodging association, stated, “CFHLA enthusiastically supports Sheriff Demings’ bid for Orange County mayor and looks forward to his continued partnership with Central Florida’s hospitality industry and effective leadership in the community for both residents and visitors alike.”


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