Former Orange County Mayor Linda Chapin came out with an endorsement of former House Rep. Mike Clelland in his run for the open SD 13 seat on Thursday.

Chapin, the first Orange mayor elected county-wide, trumpeted Clelland’s past experience in the Legislature and as a community leader in her endorsement of Clelland, a fellow Democrat.

“I am endorsing Mike Clelland for Florida Senate because he has demonstrated the courage to take on entrenched political interests on behalf of our citizens,” said Chapin in a glowing review. “He is a lifelong public servant who will fight for working families in Central Florida.

“Mike has proven time and time again that he will put the interests of his community before partisan politics. He remains committed to improving our public education system, keeping our communities safe, improving our local economy, and holding our elected officials accountable,” Chapin continued.

Clelland, a former firefighter and attorney with John Morgan‘s Orlando-based mega firm Morgan & Morgan, is running to replace term-limited Senate President Andy Gardiner in the redrawn 13th District.

Clelland filed for the seat on Jan 4. Florida Politics first reported he was exploring a run in December.

The former lawmaker faces a primary challenge from Judge Richardson Roach and former Rep. Linda Stewart in an August 30 primary. Like Stewart, Clelland was vanquished in a 2014 midterm election cycle which heavily favored Republicans.

The winner of that contest will likely face sole GOP candidate Dean Asher.

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