Ruth’s List Florida rolls out Hillsborough County endorsements
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The endorsements include two Hillsborough County Commissioners and one School Board member.

Ruth’s List Florida has announced endorsements for three Hillsborough County incumbents — Hillsborough County Commissioners Mariella Smith and Kimberly Overman, and Hillsborough County School Board member Karen Perez.

Ruth’s List Florida is an advocacy group dedicated to electing Democratic, pro-choice women.

“Ruth’s List is excited to endorse these three remarkable women candidates for re-election in Hillsborough County,” Lucy Sedgwick, president and CEO of Ruth’s List Florida, said in a statement. “They are proven leaders who consistently deliver results for Hillsborough County. We are proud of their leadership and all they have done for the community, and look forward to each of them continuing to serve.”

In its endorsements of the Hillsborough County candidates, the organization credited Smith as a decades-long community advocate, referencing her numerous awards including the Citizens Planning Advocacy Award, the Hillsborough County Planning Commission Chairman’s Award and the Black Bear Award from the Sierra Club Tampa Bay. Smith is running for re-election to the Commission’s District 5 seat.

Overman, who is running for re-election to the District 7 seat, was applauded by the organization for her history of public service to the county, including advocating for equitable access to transportation, economic growth and affordable housing. Ruths List Florida also credited her experience as a local business owner.

Ruth’s List Florida endorsed Perez for being an advocate for children on the School Board, as well as her work to hold the administration accountable and ensure Hillsborough’s limited resources go directly to the classroom. Perez became the first Puerto Rican woman elected to a countywide seat in the Tampa Bay area upon her initial election, and remains the only Hispanic member of the school board. She represents District 6.

Since 2008, Ruth’s List Florida has raised more than $6 million for Democratic women candidates, trained more than 2,400 women and elected nearly 200 women to state and local office.

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected]



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