Rep. Anna Eskamani will forgo a bid for Governor and will instead run for reelection in House District 47.
The progressive Democrat from Orlando had reportedly been considering challenging Gov. Ron DeSantis as the Republican looks for a second term. However, she is passing on a statewide campaign.
“Florida needs strong Democrats in the State Legislature to fight for the needs of everyday people and I’m damn proud to be one of them. That’s why after a lot of community conversations and self-reflection I’m running for re-election to continue serving my hometown in the Florida House,” Eskamani said in a statement first provided to Florida Politics.
Only one prominent player has officially entered the race for the Democratic nomination, but it’s expected to be a major battle. Pinellas County U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist on Tuesday formally announced his second attempt to retake the Governor’s Mansion — his third gubernatorial campaign. Meanwhile, Orlando U.S. Rep. Val Demings and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried are possible players to enter the race.
Eskamani in July told Florida Politics she was at least considering a run against DeSantis after a Facebook group called “Draft Anna Eskamani for FL Governor 2022” bubbled up.
However, that candidacy wasn’t to be. Instead, she will focus on building up her political committee to aid Florida Democrats’ “Get Out the Vote” efforts.
“I’m grateful for the incredible support of Floridians from across the state who asked me to run statewide, and I remain committed to building grassroots power in every corner of our state through our political committee, People Power for Florida,” Eskamani said.
The 30-year-old Representative has been a leading voice in her caucus, frequently opposing legislation from the majority party. On the floor of the House, she’s become one of the most frequent voices heard, usually questioning sponsors of GOP-led initiatives and making sharp critiques in closing debates.
Unlike many of her State House colleagues, she hasn’t filed for a third term in HD 47, where she has served since 2018. No challenger has entered that race either.
Eskamani is the daughter of Iranian immigrants who worked hard and sacrificed to achieve the American Dream for their children, the Representative says. She became committed to public service after her mother died from cancer and after the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando.
She appeared on Time Magazine’s cover in January 2018 as one of the women’s march “avengers” set out to redefine politics from a woman’s perspective.
Later that year, she won her seat in the Legislature, decisively defeating a Republican and flipping the seat from red to blue. The 14-percentage-point win in a district previously held by Republican Mike Miller, who ran for Congress that year, marked a change in politics in the Orlando area. Eskamani defended the seat in 2020.