Photo by Monivette Cordeiro
On Friday, three-term U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat, endorsed Orlando Police Chief John Mina in his bid for Orange County sheriff.
"Chief John Mina has been a dedicated public servant to the people of Orlando for many years," Nelson says in a news release. "He is a proven leader who has shown a deep commitment to the security of the Orlando community and he will continue to honorably serve the people of Orange County."
Nelson adds, highlighting Mina's experience in law enforcement and public service: "John began his life in public service in the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne Division and he has continued to serve."
Nelson's endorsement of Mina is the latest in a slew of high-profile nods in favor, including Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal and the West Orange Political Alliance, among others.
"The endorsement from U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson is a true honor," Mina says in a news release. "The senator and I have worked together on numerous occasion to improve the Orlando community. I look forward to expanding on those successes as the next Orange County Sheriff."
Mina recently came under fire for walking back a statement after he claimed Amazon's facial-recognition software is only being tested at OPD headquarters. However, that proved untrue, as confirmed in late May when Mina admitted there are currently three surveillance cameras in downtown Orlando that are equipped with the software. (Read more about that here
The four candidates vying to replace Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings include Mina, Eatonville Police Chief Eric McIntyre
, local businessman Daryl Sheppard
and former Florida Highway Patrol Chief Jose Lopez
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