Evan Shields, a businessman who serves as Treasurer for the Miami-Dade Democratic Party, will be the fourth Democrat to file in the House District 100 race to replace Rep. Joe Geller.
Geller, a four-term Democrat, is barred from running again due to term limits. With the seat open in 2022, Shields and his Democratic rivals are taking advantage.
“At the end of the day, I think I provide a really diverse set of experiences as a business leader, as an educator, as an activist,” Shields told Florida Politics about his run. “I’ve pretty much devoted my entire life, and my career, to serving people.”
Shields will compete in the Democratic primary against LGBTQ rights activist Todd Delmay, Bay Harbor Islands Council Member Jordan W. Leonard and Clay Miller, who serves as Broward County Commissioner Beam Furr’s legislative director. Republican candidate Wena Sutjapojnukul has also filed for the seat, though the district leans heavily Democratic.
Shields is a third-generation educator who got involved with politics as a political organizer while teaching during the Great Recession. He’s worked as a small business leader in commercial real estate, helping secure billions in public-private partnerships to house low-income families.
Shields was raised in Alabama and Georgia and moved to Florida in 2019 to live with his wife, whose family immigrated to the district from Haiti. He told Florida Politics he’d be a progressive voice in the Legislature.
“I am a progressive because I come from a family of unionized steel workers, preachers and teachers, folks who fought hard for the American Dream even when — as a Black family — sometimes that dream was deferred for us,” Shields said.
He added, however, that Florida is “one of the most diverse states in the country.” With the GOP controlling both chambers of the Legislature, that will necessitate some bridge-building.
“When it comes to leading in our state, even if I’m a progressive, it requires that we all lead from a place of building diverse coalitions,” Shields said.
HD 100 is split between Broward and Miami-Dade counties. After Geller first secured the seat in 2014, he faced no opposition — Democratic or otherwise — for the next three cycles, including last November.
“This is more than just a campaign,” Evan said. “Together, we can ensure our voices resonate in Tallahassee’s vision. Because our dream can’t wait.”