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Florida Rising endorses 57 candidates in 13 counties for the general election in November

After winning 80% of Primary endorsements, civic engagement group prepares to mobilize voters on a platform to lower rent, improve education, and protect private health care decisions including abortion. 

FLORIDA- After 80% of its endorsed Primary candidates won and moved on to the general election, Florida Rising is announcing its new slate of 57 candidates in 13 Counties to advance its “Justice on Every Block” platform. 

During the first leg of the 2022 election cycle, Florida Rising, as part of the Florida for All coalition, knocked on almost 100,000 doors and had over 17,000 conversations targeting infrequent voters, including over 1,300 volunteer shifts. 

According to statistics, 32,584 infrequent Democrat voters took to the polls, while 18,114 infrequent Republican voters cast their votes.

With three women-of-color candidates on top of the ticket alongside Charlie Crist this November -Aramis Ayala, Val Demings, and Karla Hernandez-Mats – Florida Rising plans a multi-tiered voter outreach strategy to change leadership up and down the ballot, including paid ads, door-to-door canvassing, and a series of cultural events for which the legacy organizations have become known.

Ayala is best known for refusing to seek the death penalty as a prosecutor and pursuing reforms to money bail, juvenile justice, and drug diversion programs. Demings has raised the third highest amount of money of all U.S. Senate candidates. Her opponent, Republican Senator Marco Rubio has some surprising weaknesses —  a recent poll conducted by the Comms and Research Hub showed his favorability at 43 favorable/52 unfavorable and that the race is considered neck and neck. Hernandez-Mats, a Honduran American, a former teacher for students with special needs, and president of the Union Teachers of Dade (UTD), successfully supported a referendum that increased teachers’ salaries in 2018 and was approved by 70% of voters. Crist fought in Congress for aid for struggling families and small businesses during the pandemic, pushing hard to get relief checks to millions of Floridians.

Andrea Cristina Mercado, Executive Director of Florida Rising, explains:

“This year, Republicans have shown, time and again, their disdain for the suffering of Floridians. Floridians want real solutions to the real problems we face. But DeSantis and his party have cared more about their corporate donors than the skyrocketing price of rent we pay or the lack of teachers in our schools. 

Our current leadership does not represent the people of Florida. The Florida GOP represents the Governor’s corporate interests and career ambitions. Thankfully so many people are stepping into the political process at every level of government. 

Many candidates are running to put Floridians and communities first, and we are proud to back them with this endorsement today and the work we plan to do in the weeks ahead. Women at the top of the ticket have broken the glass ceiling and are the evidence that Florida is by far a State at play, far from becoming a red stronghold. This November, the stakes have never been higher to get involved and get people who care about our communities into office.”

Some of our endorsed candidates submitted responses to a Florida Rising questionnaire that was reviewed by five endorsement committees of members of Florida Rising located across the state who issued their recommendations based on candidates’ answers, previous history, and analysis of the races ahead. Many other candidates signed on in support of FR’s Justice on Every Block pledge. 

LocationLevel of Gov’tSeatCandidate
StatewideExecutiveGovernorGovernor Charlie Crist
StatewideUS SenateUS SenateRep. Val Demings
StatewideFL Executive CabinetAttorney GeneralAramis Ayala
StatewideFL Executive CabinetChief Financial OfficerRep. Adam Hattersley
Polk/Orange/ OsceolaUS HouseCD-09Rep. Darren Soto
OrangeUS HouseCD-10Maxwell Frost
HillsboroughUS HouseCD-14Rep. Kathy Castor
BrowardUS HouseCD-20Rep. Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick
MiamiUS HouseCD-26Christine Alexandria Olivo
Miami-DadeUS HouseCD-27Sen. Annette Taddeo
LeonCity Commission (Tallahassee)MayorKristin Elizabeth Dozier
Alachua/MarionState HouseHD-21Rep. Yvonne Hayes Hinson
DuvalState HouseHD-13Rep. Angie Nixon
DuvalState SenateSD-05Rep. Tracie Davis
LeonState SenateSD-03Sen. Lorrane Ausley
OrangeCounty CommissionDistrict 4 Maribel Gomez Cordero 
OrangeCounty CommissionDistrict 6Mike Scott
OrangeCounty School BoardDistrict 2Maria Salamanca
OrangeCounty School BoardDistrict 3Dr. Michael Daniels
OrangeState HouseHD-42Rep. Anna V Eskamani
OrangeState HouseHD-37Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith
OrangeState HouseHD-39Tiffany Hughes
OrangeState HouseHD-41Robin Harris 
OrangeState HouseHD-40Lavon Bracy Davis
OrangeState SenateSD-17Sen. Linda Stewart
Orange/OsceolaState SenateSD-25Sen. Victor Torres Jr
OsceolaCounty CommissionDistrict 2Viviana Janer
Orange/OsceolaState HouseHD-43Johanna Lopez
OsceolaState HouseHD-46Rep. Kristen Arrington (Incumbent)
OsceolaState HouseHD-47Anthony Nieves
SeminoleCity Commission (Altamonte Springs)District 2Guerdy Remey
SeminoleCounty School BoardDistrict 5Autumn Garick
SeminoleState SenateSD-10Rep. Joy Goff-Marcil
HillsboroughCounty CommissionDistrict 2Angela Birdsong
HillsboroughCounty CommissionDistrict 5Mariella Smith
HillsboroughState HouseHD-67Rep. Fentrice Driskell
HillsboroughState HouseHD-64Rep. Susan Valdes
HillsboroughState SenateSD-14Sen. Janet Cruz
HillsboroughCounty CommissionDistrict 7(At-Large)Kimberly Overman
PinellasCounty CommissionDistrict 2(At-Large)Pat Gerard
PinellasCounty School BoardDistrict 3Dr. Keesha Benson
PinellasCounty School BoardDistrict 6Brian Martin
Pinellas/PascoState Attorney6th Judicial CircuitAllison Miller
PinellasState HouseHD-60Lindsay Cross
PinellasState HouseHD-62Rep. Michele Rayner
PinellasState SenateSD-16Sen. Darryl Rouson
PinellasState SenateSD-18Eunic Ortiz
BrowardCity of TamaracMayorMike Gelin
BrowardCounty School BoardDistrict 1Rodney Velez
BrowardState HouseHD-105Rep. Marie Woodson
BrowardState HouseHD-96Rep. Don Daley
Miami-DadeState HouseHD-107Rep. Chris Benjamin
Miami-DadeCounty CommissionDistrict 2 Marleine Bastien
Miami-DadeState SenateSD-38Janelle Perez
Palm BeachCounty School BoardDistrict 6Marcia Andrews
Palm BeachCounty School BoardDistrict 7Corey Smith
Palm BeachState SenateSD-24Sen. Bobby Powell
Palm BeachState SenateSD-30Sen. Tina Polsky