WASHINGTON — Floridians will head to the polls in a month and a half, and the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee is rolling out its slate of Spotlight candidates in the state. Democrats fielded more candidates than Republicans, an unmistakable sign of momentum, and are within striking distance of majorities in both chambers after flipping eight seats since Trump’s election.
“We’re going on offense across the country, and Florida is no exception,” said DLCC President Jessica Post. “Floridians are tired of extremist one-party rule in Tallahassee, and I’m so proud of the incredible group of challengers who have stepped up to hold the GOP accountable. Governor DeSantis had one of the worst coronavirus responses in the nation, and it’s time to elect a legislature that’s serious about tackling the issues we face.”
Under the leadership of Governor DeSantis, Florida infamously opened too quickly, leading to a massive spike in coronavirus cases that overwhelmed hospitals. Making matters worse, Republicans still refused to pass Medicaid expansion, denying affordable coverage to nearly a million Floridians.
The Florida Spotlight candidates include fourteen House candidates and four Senate candidates:
- Dr. Kayser Enneking (HD-21), a lifelong Gainesville resident and practicing physician who is leveraging her medical expertise to advocate for Medicaid expansion.
- Patrick Henry (HD-26), a Daytona Beach native who’s running to reclaim his seat in the House and keep fighting for quality education and expanding access to health care.
- Tracey Kagan (HD-29), a criminal defense attorney who has spent years fighting for justice in her community.
- Representative Joy Goff-Marcil (HD-30), who championed legislation to protect Florida’s natural resources and to adopt a commonsense approach to gun safety.
- Geraldine Thompson (HD-44), an experienced former legislator who was the first Black woman to represent Orlando in the state legislature.
- Andrew Learned (HD-59), a Navy veteran and native Floridian who is fighting for economic recovery and investments in education.
- Representative Jennifer Webb (HD-69), a small business owner who became the first openly lesbian woman to serve in the legislature.
- Representative Delores Hogan Johnson (HD-84), a long-time public school teacher who will keep fighting for affordable health care in the state House.
- Jim Bonfiglio (HD-89), a former Ocean Ridge mayor who champions sensible gun safety regulations.
- Linda Thompson Gonzalez (HD-93), an experienced public servant who has dedicated her entire life to helping people build better lives and hold the government accountable.
- Representative Cindy Polo (HD-103), the daughter of immigrants who fought GOP leadership to try to expand Medicaid and pass commonsense gun safety legislation.
- Franccesca Cesti-Browne (HD-115), a businesswoman and immigrant from Peru who is running to be a powerful catalyst for change in the legislature.
- Ricky Junquera (HD-118), a proud Cuban-American who is running to stand up to the Republican Party’s harmful anti-immigrant agenda.
- Clint Barras (HD-120), a community leader who is committed to creating affordable housing and providing top-notch health care and education.
- Representative Loranne Ausley (SD-03), an incumbent state representative who is passionate about rebuilding Florida’s economy and communities after COVID-19.
- Patricia Sigman (SD-09), a labor and employment attorney who has spent nearly three decades standing up for people’s rights.
- Senator José Javier Rodríguez (SD-37), the son of a Cuban exile who has worked as a legal aid lawyer, representing low-wage workers, tenants, and small businesses.
- Representative Javier Fernández (SD-39), a Cuban-American attorney and community activist who is committed to fighting climate change.
The DLCC is the sole Democratic organization dedicated to winning state legislative seats. Since Trump’s election, the DLCC and state Democrats have flipped more than 450 seats and 10 legislative chambers from red to blue.