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TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 10/21/19-Senate President Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, presides over the opening of the special session to determine if suspended Broward County Sheriff Scott Isreal should be removed from office Monday at the Capitol in Tallahassee. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

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EMILY’s List aims to flip Senate blue after putting GOP ‘On Notice’

The move comes after the GOP-controlled Legislature approved a polarizing abortion bill.

EMILY’s List — a national organization aimed at electing Democrats who support safe abortion access — will marshal resources toward Senate races in 2020 after putting Senate Republicans “On Notice.”

With that designation will come resources. The organization has promised a $20 million investment in state and local elections spread across more than 500 state legislative races. EMILY’s List will also be making endorsements going forward.

“Republicans in Florida have amassed a shameful record of voting to turn back the clock on women’s rights and shortchange working families,” EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock said.

“These legislators have supported bills that would unconstitutionally ban abortion at six weeks and block women from making their own health care decisions, and they have consistently lied to the public about women’s reproductive care to pursue an extreme, ideology-driven agenda. EMILY’s List is putting Florida’s right-wing state lawmakers ‘On Notice’ for their abhorrent records and out-of-touch values and will replace them with pro-choice Democratic women who will deliver for the people of Florida.”

The move comes weeks after the GOP-controlled Legislature approved a measure that would require a minor to obtain parental consent prior to undergoing an abortion, with some exceptions. EMILY’s List also cited the Legislature’s redistricting power following the 2020 Census as a motivation for getting involved this cycle.

Democrats are looking to gain seats in the Senate this cycle, though gaining control of the Senate outright would be difficult. Republicans control 23 out of 40 Senate seats. Democrats hold the other 17. That means Democrats would have to flip four seats to gain a majority.

Democrats certainly have their eye on seats on Senate Districts 9 and 39. Both contests will be open, as Sens. David Simmons and Anitere Flores are both term-limited. But it’s unclear where Democrats could pick up seats outside that pair of contests, absent a historic turnout disparity.

The Florida Senate is one of 10 legislative chambers EMILY’s List has put “On Notice” this cycle. The others are the Arizona House and Senate, the Iowa House, the Minnesota Senate, the Michigan House, the North Carolina House and Senate, the Pennsylvania House and Senate, and the Ohio House.

Written By

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to ryan.t.nicol@gmail.com.

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