Sen. Shevrin Jones says he’ll remain in the Legislature after weighing a run for the late U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings’ congressional seat.
Multiple candidates have declared their intention to seek that seat. Jones, Florida’s first openly LGBTQ state Senator, had been considering a run for the CD 20 seat as well. Thursday, he announced his decision.
“While I’m incredibly appreciative of the many people who’ve encouraged me to run in (CD 20), I’ve decided not to pursue Rep. Hastings’ seat in Congress,” Jones wrote in a statement released on Twitter.
“It’s clear that there is A LOT of work to do here in Florida, especially after the 2020 election, and in the Legislature as we discuss critical issues in the fight for economic, racial, and social justice. With so many friends weighing this race, I’m grateful South FL will have a champion as our voice in D.C.”
While I’m incredibly appreciative of the many people who’ve encouraged me to run in #FL20, I’ve decided not to pursue Rep. Hastings’ seat in Congress. It’s clear that there is A LOT of work to do here in Florida, especially after the 2020 election, (1/2)
— Shevrin “Shev” Jones (@ShevrinJones) April 15, 2021
Jones has earned bipartisan praise during his legislative tenure, which also includes eight years in the Florida House. That made him a rumored contender for Hastings’ now-open seat. This past November, he made history by winning the Senate District 35 seat, becoming the first openly LGBTQ member of the Senate.
Earlier this week, Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness announced he would run in the CD 20 Special Election as a Democrat. Hastings’ son, Alcee Hastings II, joined Holness at that Monday announcement to support Holness’ candidacy. That gives Holness a leg up in seeking the Democratic nomination.
Fellow County Commissioner Barbara Sharief and former CD 20 candidate Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick also both filed to run as Democrats before Hastings’ death. Since Hastings’ death, Matt Boswell and Marlon Onias have jumped in as Democrats as well. Republican candidate Greg Musselwhite says he’ll also seek the job.
The district leans heavily Democratic. Hastings won 79% of the vote in 2020. According to analysis by MCI Maps, Democrat Joe Biden won 77% of the vote in CD 20 last cycle. In 2016, then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton won just under 80%.
Florida law gives Gov. Ron DeSantis the authority to set a date and time for the Primary and General Election contests. Recent congressional vacancies show Hastings’ seat would be filled by this summer, though DeSantis is not bound by any specific timeline.