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Darryl Rouson picks up a trove of endorsements

New backers include labor and pro-LGBTQ groups.

Sen. Darryl Rouson picked up a trove of endorsements this week in his reelection campaign.

The Florida AFL-CIO, West Central Labor Council, the Florida Education Association, Florida Professional Firefighters, Equality Florida and the Florida Justice Association all offered their support for another term.

Rouson represents Senate District 19, which includes parts of Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.

“Darryl Rouson has been our warrior in Tallahassee fighting for labor issues and the middle class,” said AFL-CIO West Central Labor Council’s Treasurer, Cheryl Shroeder.

The group includes 116,000 active and retired union members in West Central Florida, which includes the Tampa Bay area.

Former Rep. Joe Saunders, political director for Equality Florida, praised Rouson for his leadership on the Competitive Workforce Act this year, a top priority for the pro-LGBTQ group.

“Senator Rouson has been a leading voice calling for statewide nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ Floridans,” Saunders said. “Equality Florida Action PAC is proud to endorse Senator Darryl Rouson.”

The Competitive Workforce Act would enshrine into Florida law workplace protections for LGBTQ workers to provide equal treatment under the law. The measure failed to get a vote this year, but Rouson helped lead a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers and business groups to support the legislation.

Rouson has represented SD 19 since 2016. Before that he served more than eight years in the House.

Rouson faces two opponents in the November election — no-party candidate Christina Paylan and Republican Kriztofer Cole. Neither candidate had raised any money for their campaigns as of the end of January, the most recent finance reports currently available.

Meanwhile, Rouson has raised more than $274,000 and is expected to face easy reelection. Nevertheless, Rouson is taking his race seriously as he seeks to represent his district and all Floridians for another term.

“I am humbled and honored to receive the endorsement of all these diverse groups that support our democratic values,” Rouson said. “I will strive to fight for them and all of us until we can achieve their goals. I will continue to be your champion in the Florida Senate.”

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a die-hard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics, including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and contentious issues surrounding transit. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also a devoted wife and mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder.

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