Democrat Sean Ashby has received the endorsement of the Orange County Classroom Teachers’ Association in his bid in Orlando-based House District 50.

The endorsement is something of a prize in the race since both Ashby and his most likely general election opponent, Republican state Rep. Rene Plasencia, are or were Orange County high school teachers and track coaches.

Plasencia switched to run in HD 50 from House District 49, which he currently represents, and faces a Republican primary battle there.

Ashby has no such primary battle.

“It is an honor to receive the trust of the CTA members in myself and my campaign,” Ashby stated in a news release. “As an organization, the CTA, which consists of fellow teachers, continuously advocates for a better education system in Florida for students and fairer treatment of teachers.

HD 50 includes southeast Orange County from Lake Nona through Waterford Estates, Bithlo and Christmas, plus north Brevard County.

Plasencia has pointed out in the past that the teachers’ unions tend to endorse Democrats. He did not get their endorsement in 2014 either, on his way to victory in HD 49.

Ashby pointed out his unity with CTA in addressing public education reform in Florida.

“The CTA recognizes that so called “reforms” in the past few years have had many more negative impacts than positive ones resulting in our educational system being continuously ranked near the bottom in the United States,” Ashby added. “True reform is needed to better educate our youth and that starts with eliminating excessive testing, more local control, and empowering our teachers to teach. We need members in the legislature who will stand up for policies which make educational sense, and that is what I will do once elected.”

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