Democratic Progressive Caucus rescinds co-endorsement in HD 72 race - Florida Politics

Democratic Progressive Caucus rescinds co-endorsement in HD 72 race

A week after co-endorsing both Democrats in the House District 72 special primary, the Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida (DPCF) is rescinding its endorsement of attorney Margaret Good.

In an announcement late Monday, DPCF officials cited Good’s nuanced position on raising the minimum wage.

“Margaret Good supports much of DPCF’s platform, however, we misread and then misrepresented her position of the $15 minimum wage,” said DPCF chair Susan Smith. “Good’s campaign contacted us to clarify that she favors an incremental wage increase, but not to the $15 level.”

Good’s campaign also contacted Florida Politics immediately after we reported that the caucus had endorsed both Good and Sarasota businesswoman Ruta Jouniari last week, taking issue with the phrase that both candidates supported immediately raising the minimum wage to $15. Florida Politics then contacted the Progressive Caucus to clarify if they were aware of that difference.

“Margaret’s position throughout the campaign has been that she supports increasing the minimum wage in a way that benefits working people without hurting small businesses,” says spokesperson Ryan Ray.

“Our campaign has always supported raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour,” Jouniari replied. “Frankly, I was shocked when my opponent started asserting that $10.51 an hour is livable in Sarasota. Given the lack of affordable housing, skyrocketing health care costs, and all the other monthly expenses working people face, there is no way $10.51 is livable. And I know from knocking on doors all over the district that voters agree.”

Another issue where the two Democrats disagree is on health care. Jouniari supports a single-payer “Medicare for all” health care system which more congressional Democrats are getting behind (including six in the Florida delegation). The Good campaign says that while she supports universal health care as the ultimate goal, she wants to concentrate on protecting the Affordable Care Act and expand Medicaid.

The District 72 seat covers much of northern Sarasota County. It became open after former GOP state Rep. Alex Miller unexpectedly resigned over the summer. The winner of the Dec. 5 primary will take on Republican James Buchanan and Libertarian Alison Foxall in the Feb. 13 general election.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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