Charlie Crist, Rick Kriseman endorse Ben Diamond in HD 68

Diamond is in line to lead his party in the House in 2022.

Rep. Ben Diamond is touting two big endorsements, with nods from two prominent Pinellas County Democrats.

U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman each offered glowing endorsements Monday.

“Ben Diamond has served our community and our state with honor and integrity for the past four years,” Crist said. “He is a leader on issues that Pinellas families care about most, making health care more affordable, keeping our schools safe, and helping our small businesses through these uncertain times. We can count on Ben to continue to work hard to make Florida a better place for everyone.”

Diamond is seeking reelection to Florida House District 68 against Republican Matt Tito.

Kriseman touted Diamond’s work in the minority party in Tallahassee to ensure St. Pete wasn’t left out in the legislating process.

“Tallahassee Republicans have been openly hostile to cities likes St. Petersburg, and continue to attack local governments’ ability to respond to our residents’ needs and solve problems” Kriseman said. “Ben Diamond has been an outstanding representative for the City of St Petersburg, and a strong advocate for local control. Ben stands with us, and against the Tallahassee special interests. I am proud to support my friend Ben Diamond in his campaign for reelection.”

Diamond was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2016 and reelected in 2018. His Democratic colleagues chose him to serve as Leader-designate for the Democratic caucus, a leadership role he will assume in 2022 until 2024. If Democrats retake the majority in the House by then, it would put Diamond in line to be Speaker of the House.

“I am so honored to have the support of Congressman Crist and Mayor Kriseman, two leaders who have done so much for our City and our state,” Diamond said.  “I look forward to continuing our work together to help Pinellas County families through challenging times.

Diamond is in prime position to earn reelection this year. He has raised more than $340,000 for the race and retains nearly $100,000 in his campaign account.

Tito, meanwhile, raised less than $36,000 and has about $13,000 on hand. He received a slight bump from the Republican Party of Florida with a $7,500 in-kind contribution for polling. Still, the money gap between the two is substantial with just over three weeks before the election.

Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected].


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