The Equality Florida Action PAC is endorsing City Council candidate Copley Gerdes for District 1, his campaign announced Friday.
The PAC, which is the political arm of Equality Florida, works to elect pro-LGBTQ candidates throughout the state.
“I’m running a campaign based on inclusion, fairness, and bringing our community together,” Gerdes said. “That’s why I’m so proud to be an ally of our LGBTQ friends and neighbors and to accept the endorsement of Equality Florida Action PAC.”
Equality Florida was founded in St. Pete. The group organizes volunteers and supporters to lobby for pro-LGBTQ policies and fight against harmful legislation at the local and state levels.
In addition to its LGBTQ advocacy, the group also pushes for safe schools, fair business policies, HIV advocacies, and policies promoting inclusive families. It supports candidates who align with that mission.
“We all want the best for our families. For me, that means a safe place for our children to learn, fair treatment at work, and an inclusive community that values the contributions of all,” Gerdes added. “This endorsement helps me show voters my support for our LGBTQ community and just policies that reflect the values of our city.”
Gerdes, the son of former District 1 representative Charlie Gerdes, is running to replace Robert Blackmon, who is leaving office to run for Mayor.
Gerdes, a Democrat, already has endorsements from St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman and the Suncoast Police Benevolent Association.
Two other candidates have filed for the race, a Special Election to be held alongside the city’s regular elections for Mayor and even-numbered council districts.
Though the race is technically nonpartisan, City Council contests often turn into partisan matchups. Filed candidates so far include John Hornbeck, a Democrat who ran unsuccessfully for the seat against Blackmon two years ago, and Ed Carlson, a Republican who founded the anti-complete streets group Citizens Against Lane Loss.
The Primary Election is on Aug. 24.