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.
|Location||Level of Gov’t||Seat||Candidate|
|Statewide||Executive||Governor||Governor Charlie Crist|
|Statewide||US Senate||US Senate||Rep. Val Demings|
|Statewide||FL Executive Cabinet||Attorney General||Aramis Ayala|
|Statewide||FL Executive Cabinet||Chief Financial Officer||Rep. Adam Hattersley|
|Polk/Orange/ Osceola||US House||CD-09||Rep. Darren Soto|
|Orange||US House||CD-10||Maxwell Frost|
|Hillsborough||US House||CD-14||Rep. Kathy Castor|
|Broward||US House||CD-20||Rep. Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick|
|Miami||US House||CD-26||Christine Alexandria Olivo|
|Miami-Dade||US House||CD-27||Sen. Annette Taddeo|
|Leon||City Commission (Tallahassee)||Mayor||Kristin Elizabeth Dozier|
|Alachua/Marion||State House||HD-21||Rep. Yvonne Hayes Hinson|
|Duval||State House||HD-13||Rep. Angie Nixon|
|Duval||State Senate||SD-05||Rep. Tracie Davis|
|Leon||State Senate||SD-03||Sen. Lorrane Ausley|
|Orange||County Commission||District 4||Maribel Gomez Cordero|
|Orange||County Commission||District 6||Mike Scott|
|Orange||County School Board||District 2||Maria Salamanca|
|Orange||County School Board||District 3||Dr. Michael Daniels|
|Orange||State House||HD-42||Rep. Anna V Eskamani|
|Orange||State House||HD-37||Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith|
|Orange||State House||HD-39||Tiffany Hughes|
|Orange||State House||HD-41||Robin Harris|
|Orange||State House||HD-40||Lavon Bracy Davis|
|Orange||State Senate||SD-17||Sen. Linda Stewart|
|Orange/Osceola||State Senate||SD-25||Sen. Victor Torres Jr|
|Osceola||County Commission||District 2||Viviana Janer|
|Orange/Osceola||State House||HD-43||Johanna Lopez|
|Osceola||State House||HD-46||Rep. Kristen Arrington (Incumbent)|
|Osceola||State House||HD-47||Anthony Nieves|
|Seminole||City Commission (Altamonte Springs)||District 2||Guerdy Remey|
|Seminole||County School Board||District 5||Autumn Garick|
|Seminole||State Senate||SD-10||Rep. Joy Goff-Marcil|
|Hillsborough||County Commission||District 2||Angela Birdsong|
|Hillsborough||County Commission||District 5||Mariella Smith|
|Hillsborough||State House||HD-67||Rep. Fentrice Driskell|
|Hillsborough||State House||HD-64||Rep. Susan Valdes|
|Hillsborough||State Senate||SD-14||Sen. Janet Cruz|
|Hillsborough||County Commission||District 7(At-Large)||Kimberly Overman|
|Pinellas||County Commission||District 2(At-Large)||Pat Gerard|
|Pinellas||County School Board||District 3||Dr. Keesha Benson|
|Pinellas||County School Board||District 6||Brian Martin|
|Pinellas/Pasco||State Attorney||6th Judicial Circuit||Allison Miller|
|Pinellas||State House||HD-60||Lindsay Cross|
|Pinellas||State House||HD-62||Rep. Michele Rayner|
|Pinellas||State Senate||SD-16||Sen. Darryl Rouson|
|Pinellas||State Senate||SD-18||Eunic Ortiz|
|Broward||City of Tamarac||Mayor||Mike Gelin|
|Broward||County School Board||District 1||Rodney Velez|
|Broward||State House||HD-105||Rep. Marie Woodson|
|Broward||State House||HD-96||Rep. Don Daley|
|Miami-Dade||State House||HD-107||Rep. Chris Benjamin|
|Miami-Dade||County Commission||District 2||Marleine Bastien|
|Miami-Dade||State Senate||SD-38||Janelle Perez|
|Palm Beach||County School Board||District 6||Marcia Andrews|
|Palm Beach||County School Board||District 7||Corey Smith|
|Palm Beach||State Senate||SD-24||Sen. Bobby Powell|
|Palm Beach||State Senate||SD-30||Sen. Tina Polsky|