The Pride Fund to End Gun Violence, a national organization inspired as response to the 2016 massacre at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, announced Thursday it is endorsing Democratic Anna Eskamani in the race for Florida House District 47.
The Pride Fund combines advocacies for gay rights and for gun law reforms, and provides both endorsements and financial backing to candidates that support both of those positions.
“Anna has been a consistent and strong advocate for the disenfranchised, and has spent her career doing the right thing for Floridians,” Jason Lindsay, Pride Fund executive director, stated in a news release. “Gun violence in America is a public health crisis that Orlando is all too familiar with since last June’s tragedy at Pulse nightclub. Anna supports legislation requiring background checks for gun sales, and will support legislation prohibiting discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity in education, employment, housing, and public accommodations.”
Eskamani, an Orlando executive with Planned Parenthood, faces Republican businessman Stockton Reeves of Winter Park, seeking to succeed incumbent Republican state Rep. Mike Miller, who is running for Congress in Florida’s 7th Congressional District.
“Receiving the endorsement of the Pride Fund to End Gun Violence is both an honor and a reminder of purpose,” Eskamani stated in the release. “Pulse Nightclub sits in House District 47 and each day I honor those who are no longer with us through action. My commitment to the LGBTQ community and gun safety policy is unwavering, and you can trust me to fight for equality while also pursuing strategic ways to reduce and prevent gun violence.”
Last year the Pride Fund endorsed Miller’s opponent, Democrat Beth Tuura. The Pride Fund also has endorsed the incumbent in the CD 7, Democratic U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy, who would be Miller’s opponent in the 2018 election if Miller wins a Republican primary against Stanford businessman Scott Sturgill.
In the release, The Pride Fund did not address Reeves or Sturgill, but did criticize Miller for his support for open-carry gun law proposals in Florida, and for a proposal to allow guns on college campuses.
“It’s time the Orlando community is represented in the state legislature by leaders who will keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people and stand up against the ugly face of hate,” Lindsay stated. “We are proud to have played a pivotal role in Rep. Stephanie Murphy’s 2016 election, and we intend to ensure that this community that suffered such a tremendous tragedy is served by representatives who will keep them safe from gun violence and discrimination.”