Lauren Baer, Anna Eskamani make cover of TIME magazine, ‘The Avengers’ – Florida Politics

Lauren Baer, Anna Eskamani make cover of TIME magazine, ‘The Avengers’

Democratic Congressional Candidate Lauren Baer and Florida House candidate Anna Eskamani are two of 48 first-time women candidates for public office who are being featured on this week’s cover of TIME magazine, with an article declaring them to be “The Avengers.”

The cover features women political candidates whom TIME portrays as representing the current women’s empowerment movement, which came to the fore last year with marches, and now continues with runs, for office.

The women, the article by Charlotte Alter proclaims, are “part of a grassroots movement that could change America.”

Among the women featured on the TIME magazine cover, Baer is in the fourth row from the top, the fifth woman over from the left, nearly front and center, a spot that makes her face almost most prominent on the cover.

A former advisor to President Barack Obama, the Palm Beach Gardens candidate is in a Democratic primary battle with Pam Keith, also of Palm Beach Gardens, hoping to take on Republican U.S. Rep. Brian Mast of Palm City in the fall.

Eskamani is pictured in the bottom row, the second from the right.

The Planned Parenthood executive from Orlando faces Republican Stockton Reeves of Winter Park in the House District 47 contest this year, seeking to succeed Republican state Rep. Mike Miller.

“Call it payback, call it a revolution, call it the Pink Wave, inspired by marchers in their magenta hats, and the activism that followed,” Alter writes. “There is an unprecedented surge of first-time female candidates, overwhelmingly Democratic, running for offices big and small, from the U.S. Senate and state legislatures to local school boards.”

Neither Baer nor Eskamani is mentioned or quoted in the article.

“I’m thrilled to see the media paying attention to the many remarkable women running for office this year,” Baer said in a written statement. “But this movement is not about us; it’s about the communities we are working to represent. For too long, women’s voices and interests have been underrepresented in politics. As a woman, a mother, and a member of the LGBT community, I am proud to be standing up and fighting for those in our community who have been marginalized and excluded. When Congress represents the diversity of America, we all benefit.”

Eskamani, as someone who helped plan and organize the women’s march in Orlando last year, and who’s also involved in this Sunday’s women’s march in Orlando, said she proudly counts herself as part of the wave Alter described. Yet Eskamani said her candidacy, and, if she wins, her victory, is more about the community seeking change, and that voters are “excited to have a home-grown, local community leader and advocate serve in the Legislature.”

Eskamani said she did not know she was going to be on the cover, or whether or how she might be featured in the article. She said the magazine had called her and asked for a picture. The next thing she knew was Thursday morning, when she started getting calls and texts from people after the edition was released.

“I am so honored, so honored; I never even imagined I’d run for office, let alone be on the cover of TIME magazine. It’s incredibly humbling and exciting,” she said.

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

1 Comment

  1. Please do Not overlook the legal and political gravitas of Mary Barzee Flores who is running to morph Florida’s 27th congressional district into a Democratic seat being vacated by Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. Judge Barzee Flores is a proven SoFla elections winner. gregory m. ochalek

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