Today, the Tommy Gregory Campaign announced the endorsement of former Manatee County Sheriff Charlie Wells. Gregory is running for the District 73 seat in the Florida House of Representatives, currently held by Joe Gruters, who is running for the Florida Senate. Wells joins fellow former Manatee County Sheriff Brad Steube, Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight, and a host of other current and former elected officials in supporting Gregory.

“Tommy Gregory’s got what it takes to serve this district very well,” said Wells. “He brings a wealth of experience serving our country as well as a fresh vision for the importance of conservative principles. I’m glad to support him, and I look forward to him being our next State Representative.”

Wells was first elected as Manatee County Sheriff in 1984 with 70 percent of the vote and cruised to easy reelection five more times. He was a driving force behind the STOP (Stop Turning Out Prisoners) Act, which requires inmates to serve at least 85 percent of their prison sentences. He was also a strong supporter of several education initiatives designed to prevent crime by keeping teens in school. Wells retired in 2007.

“Sheriff Wells is a strong and well-respected leader,” said Gregory. “I’m grateful for the years he invested in keeping this community safe, and I’m honored by his support. I look forward to working with him and other public servants and community leaders to effectively represent District 73 in Tallahassee.”

In addition to Steube and Knight, Wells joins U.S. Senator Connie Mack; State Representative Danny Burgess; former State Senator Lisa Carlton; Sarasota County Commissioners Paul Caragiolo, Charles Hines, Alan Maio, and Michael Moran; and Manatee County Commissioner Robin DiSabatino in backing Gregory.