Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey has endorsed St. Johns County sheriff candidate Rob Hardwick, citing his support of the Second Amendment.
Ivey joined the St. Augustine Beach Police chief and several supporters Wednesday, July 22, at the Ancient City Shooting Range for the announcement.
“Right now, more than any time before, we need sheriffs that are going to stand strong — stand strong in support of their citizens, stand strong in support of their law enforcement officers and certainly that are going to stand strong in support of the Constitution,” said Ivey.
Ivey pointed out that Hardwick has received an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association.
“He is a huge Second Amendment supporter,” Ivey said. “He understands the importance. The Second Amendment protects all of the other amendments within the Constitution.”
After the presentation, Ivey explained his decision to back Hardwick.
“For me, I vet the candidates myself,” he said. “I look at: What do they stand for, what have they done? His military service certainly is important, but more importantly is what I believe in my heart he will do when the time comes.”
Hardwick expressed gratitude for the endorsement.
“For him to drive all the way up here and then to turn around and drive back down to Brevard — he’s got a big fundraiser tonight for his campaign — so, it was humbling when the sheriff said he wanted to come up here today,” Hardwick said.
He added that Ivey himself is considered a Second Amendment sheriff in Florida.
“He’s been such a big advocate for the NRA,” Hardwick said. “And not just an advocate, but making sure the educational piece is out there.”
Hardwick’s opponent, Chris Strickland, has cited his own membership in the NRA on his campaign website.
Voters will choose between Hardwick and Strickland during the Aug. 18 primary election. Both candidates are running as Republicans. The winner will face a write-in candidate at the general election in November.