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Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund internet videos to support LGBT state candidates; pushes gun issues

The national Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund is going up with digital video commercials in Florida to support several gay candidates for Florida House seats and attack their Republican opponents for voting with the gun lobby.

The 30-second commercials begin by pegging onto the June 12 mass murder at Orlando’s popular gay nightclub Pulse, saying “it happened right here” in Orlando or in Florida, depending on the spot. In that massacre, gay-hating, ISIS-pledging madman Omar Mateen shot and killed 49 people and wounded 53 others before he was killed by law enforcement storming the nightclub.

Three of the ads start by attacking Republican State Reps. Mike Miller in Orlando-based House District 47, Kathleen Peters in St. Petersburg-based House District 69, or George Moraitis in Fort Lauderdale-based House District 93, for voting in favor of campus-carry legislation last year. Then they offer up their Democratic opponents, Beth Tuura of Orlando, Jennifer Webb of St. Petersburg, or Ken Keechi of Fort Lauderdale, respectively, as “better choices.”

The fourth commercial supports Democrat Carlos Guillermo Smith in Orlando-based House District 49. He doesn’t have a Republican or incumbent opponent, so the commercial just says Smith will “take on the gun lobby and keep our community safe.” He faces independent candidate Shea Silverman.

A fifth commercial is pledged supporting Democratic State Rep. David Richardson over Republican Jonathan Parker in Miami Beach-based House District 113, but that that commercial has not yet been released.

The Victory Fund political action committee said it is spending $75,000 on the ads.

“Our Florida candidates support gun safety measures that can prevent another Pulse-like shooting, while their opponents adopt whatever position the gun lobby tells them to,” Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund’s Aisha C. Moodie-Mills stated in a news release. “Tallahassee continues to fail Floridians by refusing to take on the gun lobby and pass commonsense gun violence prevention measures. Voters deserve to know where candidates stand on this critical issue, and our Florida Victory ads make those positions clear.”

The ads admonish each of the Republican incumbents for having A ratings from the NRA, or for supporting legislation that allows students to carry guns on campuses, or both. They will run until Election Day.

The unprecedented number of LGBT candidates running for the Florida state Legislature this cycle are united in their support for gun violence prevention measures, according to the fund. If elected, these leaders will quintuple the number of LGBT lawmakers in the state House come January — a historic increase in a state designated low-equality for LGBT people, the Victory Fund PAC stated.

 

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 scott@floridapolitics.com.

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