Five individuals who lost family members in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting have endorsed Jared Moskowitz’s campaign to succeed Rep. Ted Deutch in Congress.
Those offering their support to Moskowitz’s campaign Thursday are among the most visible and outspoken of the MSD survivors.
Max Schachter, whose son, Alex, was killed in the rampage that left 17 dead, serves on the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission. He also started Safe Schools for Alex, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting the best practices for school safety.
Schachter said he has no doubt that Moskowitz, who is running for the Democratic nomination in Florida’s 22nd Congressional District, is the best candidate for the job representing a district that includes parts of Broward and Palm Beach counties.
“He’s a proven leader,” Schachter said, citing Moskowitz’s work as the director of the state’s Division of Emergency Management through COVID-19. “He cares about doing the right thing and not about a political ideology.”
Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter, Jaime, was among those killed, is a senior advisor to the gun control advocacy group Brady PAC. He recalled Moskowitz’s speech on the House floor while he served as a state Representative following the 2018 attack. Guttenberg, who announced his endorsement earlier this week, credits that speech with getting the state’s first new school safety law in decades on the books.
“Jared and I share common democratic values about politics, decency, civility, and family,” Guttenberg said, according to a news release from the Moskowitz campaign. “I have full faith that Jared is the right person for the job and that he can advance important gun violence prevention policies in Congress.”
Moskowitz, who grew up in Parkland and graduated from MSD himself, said he’s honored to accept the endorsements but wishes he’d met these families some other way.
“We are bonded through tragedy,” said Moskowitz, now a Broward County Commission member. “I am committed to honoring their lives and their memories through action by passing significant gun violence prevention measures through Congress in exactly the same way I fought alongside the Parkland families to pass legislation in Florida.”
In Thursday’s release, he highlighted his credentials.
“I was proud to receive an F- from the NRA for my work on this bill,” he said. “In the House of Representatives, I am committed to sponsoring and passing comprehensive legislation that will save lives.”
Lori Alhadeff, mother of slain student Alyssa Alhadeff, is also endorsing Moskowitz. As is Debbi Hixon, the wife of Chris Hixon, the MSD coach who was the first to confront the shooter. Both Alhadeff and Hixon were galvanized by the tragedy and were later elected to the Broward County School Board.
Tony Montalto, the father of slain student Gina Montalto, started Stand with Parkland, a national organization lobbying for practical public safety reforms. The group was credited with playing a role in this year’s update (HB 1421) to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act. He’s also throwing his support behind Moskowitz.
Deutch upended the South Florida political world last week when he announced he would not be seeking an eighth term in Congress and would become the CEO of the American Jewish Committee.
Moskowitz on Friday became the first major candidate to announce his bid for Deutch’s seat. He has racked up endorsements from 50 elected South Florida leaders, including some names who were considered potential candidates for Deutch’s seat.