Ex-Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy is adding celebrity clout to the support of Democrat Patricia Sigman‘s bid for Senate District 9.
Van Gundy, former coach of the Miami Heat, the Detroit Pistons, and the Magic, declared his endorsement for Sigman Tuesday in a news release issued by her campaign.
Van Gundy coached the Magic from 2007-2012, the team’s last heyday era, and remains popular throughout the Orlando area. He and his wife Kim Van Gundy live in Lake Mary, within SD 9, which covers Seminole County and parts of southern Volusia County. They are active in a variety of charitable organizations.
Sigman, a labor and employment lawyer from Altamonte Springs, is in a five-way Democratic primary battle with lawyer Alexis Carter of Altamonte Springs, engineer Rick Ashby of Oviedo, activist H. Alexander Duncan of Geneva, and health care worker Guerdy Remy of Altamonte Springs. The winner would take on Republican former Rep. Jason Brodeur of Sanford.
“These last few weeks, we have seen Americans across the political spectrum demand leadership that ensures justice and equality for everyone,” Van Gundy stated in the release. “Patricia Sigman has dedicated her career to helping those who have been discriminated against, brave individuals who stood up to power when they saw wrongdoing, and to protect the right to vote of those in our community. Kim and I could not be more proud to be on her team and will do all we can to ensure she is our next State Senator in District 9.”
Though not quite politically outspoken on the level of San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, Van Gundy, a registered Democrat, has nonetheless never been shy about politics, and has even been mentioned as a possible candidate. In 2016 he was a strong critic of Donald Trump and his supporters. And he has frequently spoken out about issues of racial discrimination and equal rights, once telling the Detroit Free Press he considered himself [the son of a college basketball coach] to be a “poster boy for white privilege.”
“Kim and Stan Van Gundy are incredible philanthropists and voices for justice in our community,” Sigman stated in the news release. “As our country calls out for reforms, they are examples of the fact that speaking up and putting your values into action can drive real change in our communities. I am honored to call them friends and to work with them as we seek to reform a broken system that has denied justice to far too many for far too long.”