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Darren Soto announces Hispanic, Caribbean, Muslim caucus leaders’ endorsements

State Sen. Darren Soto announced the endorsements of Democratic caucus leaders representing Hispanic, Caribbean and Muslim caucuses in his bid to be elected to Congress in the Orlando-based Florida’s 9th Congressional District.

Soto’s campaign announced Tuesday he had received endorsements from Democratic Hispanic Caucus of Florida President Vivian Rodriguez, Democratic Caribbean Caucus-Orlando Branch Vice Chairman Karen Green and American Muslim Democratic Caucus of Osceola President Khorshed Hossain.

The endorsements come as Soto, and Orlando Democrat, continues to push his campaign to become the first member of Congress of Puerto Rican descent from Florida, and the first Hispanic congressman representing Central Florida.

“Darren Soto has been a strong voice for our rights and for all diverse cultures throughout his career. As a fellow Caribbean community citizen, I can attest to Darren’s commitment to fight for the issues that matter to working families while serving as a state legislator,” Green stated in a news release issued by Soto’s campaign. “He has advocated in favor of immigrants, students, women, seniors and our environment and has a record to prove it.”

Soto faces Susannah Randolph, Valleri Crabtree and Dena Grayson in the Aug. 30 Democratic primary for CD 9, which covers south Orlando and Orange County, all of Osceola County and eastern Polk County.

The winner would face the Republican nominee, either Wanda Rentas or Wayne Liebnitzky.

“I have known Darren Soto for many years as a humble public servant and a friend,” Hossain stated in the release. “He has always stood on the side of justice and he is a fighter that gets things done. Leadership and experience, when so much is at stake, matters.”

Rodriguez, also a leader in the LGBT community, highlighted Soto’s work to protect women and Hispanics, like passing legislation doubling the statute of limitations for rape and sexual assault cases, protecting marriage equality and for supporting a law to bring more education opportunities to DREAMers.

“State Sen. Darren Soto has been a proven, experienced leader in State Senate District 14, serving a large portion of the constituency living in Congressional District 9 for more than a decade,” she stated. “He is a champion in fighting for the rights of women, LGBT equality, Latinos, veterans, the disabled, and all Americans. He is the right choice.”

Written By

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

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