TFS Endorsement – Michele Rayner for State Representative

Democratic Primary voters in House District 62 face a stark choice – back Michele Rayner’s attempt to stay in the House to lead the fight against divisive authoritarianism or return to the past transactionalism and conformity with an illiberal GOP majority which her opposition typifies.

To say Rayner is a rock star in a legislature dominated by rubber-stamps for Governor DeSantis, and low-caliber yes women and men, is an understatement. Rayner has stood strong in trying to unite Floridians as the Governor has worked endlessly to divide us.

Governor DeSantis has played culture warrior cynically, pushing pressure points to divide Floridians and inciting fear of “the other,” whether it’s public health officials, ethnic minorities, immigrants, LGBTQ Floridians, university professors or other well-educated “elites”. Rayner, the first openly LGBTQ, African-American woman elected to our legislature has helped lead the fight back, articulating a vision that embraces ALL FLORIDIANS irrespective of gender, race, sexual orientation, geography or education level.

She’s fought the fight on issues as diverse as environmental justice, affordable housing, social justice and health care. Rayner is the kind of legislator that has given Floridians great reasons to celebrate over the past fifty years, but are now dwindling in number. A passionate and determined leader and change agent, Rayner has been a revelation in the state’s lower chamber, these last two years. A brilliant legal mind and a skilled committee member, she has managed to run circles around the majority in terms of rhetoric, on a number of key issues, even before onerous legislation hits the floor.

Rayner gave us a statement about this endorsement:

“I’m honored to be endorsed by the Florida Squeeze. I’ve worked hard in my first term to improve the lives of all Floridians, fighting for affordable housing and urban agriculture, and against the Governor’s culture wars. I’m the only candidate in this race that will remain firm on the right to choose and education funding. I look forward to continuing to serve you in Tallahassee,” Rayner said.

Rayner would have proven a great Congressional candidate in the Pinellas County-based seat being vacated by Rep. Charlie Crist (D-St Petersburg), but had to withdraw from the race for the seat she was seeking, after the legislature fecklessly caved to Governor DeSantis, in adopting a map, he drew. This unprecedented gubernatorial overreach, unlike anything we’ve ever seen in Florida’s history, typifies why we need Rayner in Tallahassee. To fight the fight, protect those under attack from the majority party and call out excessive authoritarianism.

We strongly support her re-nomination and re-election.

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