Republican Peter Vivaldi announced Tuesday that eight Central Florida lawmakers are backing his bid for the District 15 seat in the Florida Senate.

“I am very honored and encouraged to have the support of so many members of our area’s delegation,” Vivaldi said. “They are all great conservative leaders, and I look forward to working with them in Tallahassee to promote vital issues like school choice, religious liberty, job creation and economic freedom.“

The Windermere businessman picked up endorsements from Republican Reps. Jason Brodeur, Bob Cortes, Mike LaRosa, Mike Miller, Scott Plakon, Rene Plasencia, David Santiago and Jennifer Sullivan, most of whom represent the same slices of Orange and Osceola counties that make up the newly redrawn SD15.

“Peter Vivaldi will be a strong conservative ally in the Florida Senate,” said Cortes, who holds the District 30 seat in the House. “He is a man of principle and conviction who understands the proper role of government and will fight for policies that will strengthen our economy and increase freedom and opportunity in Florida.”

The newly redrawn SD 15 includes southern Orange County and all of Osceola County and has no direct analogue in the previous Senate district map, which split Osceola across three districts and Orange across five.

Vivaldi is currently the only Republican candidate in the race, and his first campaign finance report shows him with about $7,000 in the bank after entering the race in mid-April.

The new district is more favorable to Democrats than Republicans, however, and Vivaldi faces a heavyweight in Democratic Rep. Victor Torres, who jumped into the race shortly after the new district lines were approved by Florida courts.

Through April, the Orlando Democrat has about $54,000 on hand, though only about $10,000 of that money was raised after he announced he would run for the Senate instead of re-election in House District 48.

Torres faces fellow Democrat Bob Healy, a former board member of the Osceola County Expressway Authority, in the primary race. Since filing the last day of February, Healy has outpaced Torres in fundraising and has about $11,000 in the bank two months into the contest.

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