By: Karen Murphy
TALLAHASSEE – Republican heavy-weight U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama rarely endorses in primary races but Monday he threw his support behind Ken Sukhia, a congressional candidate in Florida’s 2nd District.
A well-known and highly respected advocate for fighting radical terrorism, protecting U.S. borders, and toughening immigration laws, Sessions’ endorsement of Sukhia came immediately following the weekend’s terrorist attack in Orlando.
Sessions said Monday, “Today I announce my wholehearted endorsement and support for Ken Sukhia in his race for Congress because I have known him for decades to be a principled, tested and proven conservative. Ken and I fought shoulder-to-shoulder as fellow U.S. Attorneys in South Alabama and North Florida enforcing our immigration laws and prosecuting violent criminals and narco-terrorists.”
“(Sukhia) is immediately prepared to enter the battle in Washington, because he has already proven himself on the front lines. The voters in District 2 have a rare opportunity to elect a man of integrity and character who will not back down from that fight. We need Ken Sukhia in Washington,” Sessions said.
Sukhia said of Sessions’ endorsement, “Like me, Senator Sessions realizes the stakes are extremely high in 2016. In the wake of the horrific terrorist attack in Orlando, Senator Sessions knows that it’s more important than ever to elect a person who has fought on the front lines to put terrorists behind bars.”
During the presidential Republican primaries, Sessions’ endorsement was highly coveted by Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz.
This endorsement may prove helpful in the Florida congressional race since a portion of the recently redrawn 2nd Congressional District runs along the Alabama-Florida border. The new 2nd District includes all or part of Bay, Calhoun, Columbia, Dixie, Franklin, Gilchrist, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Lafayette, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Marion, Suwannee, Taylor, Wakulla and Washington counties.
Sukhia is running against three other republicans: Panama City urologist Neal Dunn, Governor Rick Scott’s former administration attorney Mary Thomas, and Fort White businessman Jeff Moran. This North Florida House seat is currently held by Democrat Gwen Graham who is not seeking re-election.