By PAT RAIA
Former President Donald Trump has endorsed Senate President Wilton Simpson (R-Trilby) to become the next Commissioner of the Florida Department of Agriculture even though Simpson has not announced that he will seek the post.
A member of the Florida State Senate since 2016, Simpson served as Senate President during the last legislative session. His Senate term ends in 2022.
In a May 11 posting on his website, Trump encouraged Simpson to seek the post currently held by Democrat Nikki Fried. Fried has recently been mentioned to challenge Gov. Ron DeSantis in the 2022 gubernatorial race.
“Wilton Simpson has done an outstanding job as President of the Florida State Senate, and I hope he runs for Florida Agriculture Commissioner in 2022,” Trump’s post said.”Wilton will never let the great people of Florida down!”
In response, Simpson said that he was grateful for Trump’s encouragement but has still not decided to seek the FLDA post.
“If I do run, it would be an honor to represent our farmers who deserve a strong voice in our Government,” Simpson said in a written statement. “President Trump has always stood with hard-working blue collar American workers and generational family farms like mine. It is an honor that he would stand with me should I run for Agriculture Commissioner.”
According to some political analysts, the Trump endorsement will give Simpson an edge over other Republicans who may seek the Commissioner’s post.