Democratic candidate Eric Lynn has announced two new endorsements from previous Florida Congress members — former U.S. Reps. Ron Klein and Kendrick Meek.
Meek represented what was then Florida’s 17th Congressional District after first winning office in 2002. He served four terms in Congress, including as the Congressional Black Caucus Board Chair. Meek was the Democratic Nominee for Florida’s U.S. Senate seat in 2010, but ultimately lost to now-U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio.
“As someone who has served in Congress, I know Eric Lynn has what it takes to keep this seat blue and represent the shared values of the people of Pinellas County,” Meek said in a statement.
“Eric is a leader in his community, and he has delivered change in Washington before while working as a Senior Advisor to President Obama. I know he’ll fight for Florida’s 13th Congressional District in the House. I am proud to endorse his candidacy.”
Klein served in Congress from 2007-2011, representing Broward County. He currently chairs the Jewish Democratic Council of America.
“The people of Florida need representatives in Washington that will fight to deliver for their constituents, not looking to score political points,” Klein said in a statement. “Eric Lynn’s Pinellas roots, work serving our country both at the Pentagon and drafting legislation on the Hill show he is that candidate. That’s why I’m proud to endorse his campaign for Congress.”
This is the third round of endorsements Lynn has announced since becoming the presumptive Democratic nominee for Florida’s 13th Congressional District. Last week, Lynn announced backing from former U.S. Rep. Jim Davis, former state Rep. Jennifer Webb, St. Petersburg City Council member Copley Gerdes and Pinellas County Commissioner Pat Gerard.
“The outpouring of support our campaign has received over the past week has been incredible” Lynn said in a statement. “It’s an honor to have the support of former Congressmen Kendrick Meek and Ron Klein; and so many others who are ready to keep this seat blue.”
Lynn is now the lone Democrat running in CD 13 after state Reps. Ben Diamond and Michele Rayner dropped their respective campaigns in mid-May. Democrats have held the CD 13 seat since 2016 when U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist defeated incumbent Republican Rep. David Jolly. Crist this year is running for Governor instead of for re-election.
A new map just signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis substantially reconfigures Tampa Bay. While CD 13 remains contained within Pinellas County, Downtown St. Petersburg and many Democratic portions of the old district end up in Florida’s 14th Congressional District, represented by U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, a Tampa Democrat.
The result for CD 13? The district goes from one where Democrat Joe Biden won the 2020 Presidential Election by 4 percentage points to a seat Republican Donald Trump won by 7 points.
Still, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) stated this week they are ready to fight to keep the seat blue.
“Despite Gov. DeSantis’ blatant gerrymander, Democrats are prepared to keep this seat blue. While Florida Republicans offer nothing but extremism and divisiveness, Democrats have real solutions that will appeal to voters and put us on the path to victory in FL-13,” DCCC Spokesperson Nebeyatt Betre said in a recent statement.
Lynn also has earned endorsements from former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Gulfport Deputy Mayor April Thanos, U.S. Reps. Jimmy Panetta and Eric Swalwell of California, and former U.S. Rep. Mel Levine of California.