The Agenda

Historic number of LGBTQ candidates run for Florida state legislature

Above: Beth Tuura, who is running for Florida House District 47.
A record setting eight LGBTQ candidates are running for seats in Florida’s state legislature in 2016. Currently, Victory-endorsed Rep. David Richardson is the only out state lawmaker, but he believes that number is about to grow.
“We’re at a place and time where people are truly being evaluated based on their qualifications and not some of these other demographics,” he told the Sun Sentinel.
The large number of LGBTQ candidates – and potentially LGBTQ lawmakers come November – is especially exciting given Florida is rated a low equality state for LGBTQ people by the Movement Advancement Project. Additional LGBTQ lawmakers may have a significant impact on the state, given Victory research shows higher numbers of LGBTQ lawmakers lead to more legal protections for the LGBTQ community in those states.
Additionally, the Victory-endorsed state legislative candidates in Florida are much more than simply LGBTQ leaders – they are exciting candidates with powerful platforms, and have taken a significant interest in gun violence prevention in the wake of the Pulse nightclub shooting. Beth Tuura in District 47 hopes to advance out of her August primary to take on Republican incumbent Mike Miller in the general election, and has pledged to make gun safety her priority issue. In the Orlando area, Carlos Guillermo Smith in District 49 faces no opposition in his primary and no Republican opponent in the general, and is outspoken on the need to end gun violence post-Pulse. And Ken Keechl is running hard as a Democrat in the toss-up District 93 in Fort Lauderdale.
“The more gays and lesbians that are involved on the floor of the House, the more the other side is going to see that we’re not different than anybody else,” said Ken Keechl in the Sun-Sentinel article. With wins in the August 30 primary and again in November, these candidates can change the status quo in Florida.
Victory’s legislative and federal candidates in Florida are: 
Bob Poe, U.S. House, District 10Beth Tuura, State House, District 47Carlos Guillermo Smith, State House, District 49David Richardson (incumbent), State House, District 113Ken Keechl, State House, District 93

Spotlight Candidates, State Legislature