State Rep. David Richardson announced a wave of endorsements for his congressional campaign Wednesday from his Democratic colleagues in the Florida Legislature.
The Miami Beach Democrat picked up nods from Sen. Linda Stewart and Reps. Bruce Antone, John Cortes, Katie Edwards-Walpole, Patrick Henry, Kristin Jacobs, Amy Mercado, Wengay Newton, David Silvers, Emily Slosberg, Cynthia Stafford, Barbara Watson, Clovis Watson and Matt Willhite.
The announcement included several glowing statements from the block of lawmakers, which make up a third of the Democrats in the Florida House.
“I got to know Rep. Richardson when we were seat mates on the House floor during his first term of office,” Barbara Watson said. “I’ve had the opportunity to see his work firsthand when we served together on the Rulemaking Subcommittee, including witnessing his ability to ask really tough questions. When I think of David, the word ‘relentless’ first comes to mind. He is a passionate, hardworking public servant and I fully endorse his campaign for Congress in the 27th District.”
Richardson is running to replace longtime Republican U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who announced last year that she would not seek re-election in 2018.
“I’m deeply honored to receive the support of my colleagues, because they see my work up close and are in the best position to judge my ability to get things done,” Richardson said. “I’m happy to have them supporting the campaign as we approach the primary election on August 28th.”
That comment could be considered a burn on Miami Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez, one of Richardson’s rivals in the primary race.
Before winning the SD 37 seat in 2016, JJR served two terms in the Florida House directly alongside more than half of the lawmakers who came out in support of Richardson.
Henry, Mercado, Newton, Silvers, Slosberg and Willhite were all part of the 2016 freshman class, but the other eight lawmakers spent at least one full term with Rodriguez in the House, and Stewart has served alongside him in both chambers.
Richardson’s chief opponents in the Democratic Primary include Rodriguez as well as former judge Mary Barzee-Flores, Matt Haggman, Miami Beach City Commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez and City of Miami Commissioner Ken Russell, each of whom boasted six-figure hauls in the third quarter.
Richardson earlier this month said his fourth quarter report brought his campaign to the $1 million mark in total fundraising. Haggman’s total fundraising hit $912K in his year-end report, while the rest of the field has yet to announce their fourth quarter hauls.