The Agenda

LGBTQ candidates take center stage in Florida elections

Above: Openly gay Florida state legislator Rep. David Richardson.
Considering Florida currently has only one openly LGBTQ person serving in the legislature, it is remarkable that 12 out LGBTQ candidates are running for office this year in the sunshine state. Given the state is rated “low equality” by the Movement Advancement Project, it is clear each candidate knows well the challenges that face LGBTQ people in Florida and throughout the country.
The record number of LGBTQ people running makes it a historic opportunity to change the status quo in Florida, because representation matters. Victory research shows states with more openly LGBTQ lawmakers have higher levels of equality, and that LGBTQ lawmakers heavily influence the votes of their straight lawmaker colleagues.
“Very rarely in what we call ‘low-equality states’ do you have so many qualified, viable LGBTQ candidates running for office,” said Victory Fund’s Director of Communications Elliot Imse in a Florida Politics article. “That’s a really important opportunity for the LGBTQ coalition because representation matters.”
Victory-endorsed candidates in Florida include Bob Poe for Congress and Beth Tuura, David Richardson, Ken Keechl, and Carlos Guillermo Smith running for seats in the state legislature. All of their primaries are slated for August 30th.

Spotlight Candidates, State Legislature