The state's largest teachers union and its two national affiliates are endorsing Democrat Patrick Murphy in Florida's U.S. Senate race.
The Florida Education Association threw its support behind the Jupiter congressman with an announcement Monday morning in Palm Beach County. The FEA represents over 140,000 teachers and school support professionals in the state.
President Joanne McCall said, at the FEA's recommendation, the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers back Murphy's U.S. Senate bid, too.
"We support Patrick Murphy for U.S. Senate because he has proven time and time again wholehearted commitment to education and Florida’s teachers and education staff professionals," McCall said. "Patrick has stood with our teachers, education staff professionals, parents and students when it mattered the most. He knows that there is nothing more important to Florida's children's futures than a high-quality education."
Murphy said he'd continue to support fully funding education including Title I and Head Start programs, better teacher pay and universal access to pre-K education, as well as backing away from high-stakes standardized testing.
"We’re setting back an entire generation. We’ve got to make sure we’re moving toward debt-free education," Murphy said during his remarks.
Murphy has racked up establishment endorsements during the course of his bid for Marco Rubio's open U.S. Senate seat. Other union support includes the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and the Florida Teamsters, among others.
His primary opponent -- fellow U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Orlando -- has also gotten support from some unions, including the Communications Workers of America.