The Apopka Voice has learned that the Apopka Professional Firefighters Association (APFA) will endorse Commissioner Diane Velazquez in her re-election bid for Seat #2, and Nick Nesta in his campaign for Seat #4 on the Apopka City Commission.
Nesta is running against Eric Mock, while Wes Dumey is challenging Velazquez.
Previously, the APFA endorsed Commissioner Kyle Becker in his mayoral campaign against incumbent Apopka Mayor Bryan Nelson.
The APFA, which represents 86 firefighters, engineers, and district chiefs at the Apopka Fire Department, will release the following statement:
"It is your Apopka Firefighters' pleasure to announce our public endorsement of two commissioner candidates running for election in this upcoming race set for March 8th. Our political action committee met in person and received a pointed questionnaire from all of the candidates running for the open commissioner seats (excluding Eric Mock running for Seat 4, who did not respond to our communications). After careful consideration, our endorsements are below!
"For Apopka City Commission Seat 2: The Apopka Professional Firefighters Association is endorsing Diane Velazquez for re-election. Commissioner Velazquez has consistently shown her dedication to our city time and time again. We cannot recall a community event or need where Diane has not been present and/or offered her time and abilities. Diane Velazquez is a pillar of our community year-round and is a stalwart for all public safety professionals. We believe Diane has a track record that proves her commitment to listening to her constituents, making responsible and informed decisions, and remaining fair and impartial to a diverse range of issues. We have no hesitation in knowing that Commissioner Velazquez will continue to serve the best interests of our citizens, employees, and visitors."
"I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the Apopka Professional Firefighters Association for the trust and confidence they have given me with their organizational endorsement," she said. "It’s truly an honor to receive such a vote of confidence. As I have stated many times, I believe that a well-staffed, well-trained, and well-equipped fire department is essential in ensuring the safety of our residents, businesses, and firefighters alike. Additionally, a highly trained and motivated department equals personnel retention and not attrition.
Again, thank you for your endorsement. The Apopka Fire Department is the best."
"For Apopka City Commission Seat 4: The Apopka Professional Firefighters Association is endorsing Nick Nesta. We had the opportunity to meet with Mr. Nesta on several occasions and feel that he has the forward-thinking and positive mindset to keep our city progressing. Mr. Nesta has shown himself to be eager to communicate and listen to the citizens and employees of Apopka. Our city needs this level of openness and engagement if we intend to keep moving forward. This is not Mr. Nesta’s first foray into Apopka politics and he has shown a commitment to the city that extends beyond the desire to run for a commissioner position. It was very important to us to endorse a candidate that is also a part of our community which Mr. Nesta has shown himself to be."
"I am completely humbled and honored to be endorsed by the Apopka Professional Firefighters Association," he said. "Our local firefighters are an enormous asset to our community and deserve our full support and respect. This endorsement means so much not only to my campaign but to my family and I personally, as my brother-in-law is also a firefighter. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for your support and will do everything in my power to provide you with the resources you need."
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