Women’s group endorses slate of Tallahassee candidates

The candidates said they are focused on LGBTQ issues and abortion rights.

Several Tallahassee candidates are among dozens of Democrats the Florida National Organization for Women political committee is endorsing.

The group is backing Marie Rattigan for House District 8, Leon County Commissioner Kristin Dozier for Mayor, Adner Marcelin for City Commission Seat 5, City Commissioner Jeremy Matlow for Seat 3, Leon County Commissioner Rick Minor and County Commission candidates Josh Johnson and David O’Keefe.

“I am deeply grateful for the incredible work that the members of the Florida NOW PAC do, and I look forward to working with them to advance women’s rights from the Mayor’s office,” Dozier said.

Among the group’s core issues is LGBTQ rights. Rattigan, a former legislative aide, expressed disdain for legislation like the controversial “Parental Rights in Education” law and a proposed rule to block Medicaid reimbursements for hormone therapy for transgender people.

“I just think it’s not right and it’s just not fair,” Rattigan said. “Ron DeSantis has waged war on everyday people and if we don’t stand with our LGBTQ+ sisters and brothers, it’s definitely going to be a problem.”

Several of the endorsed candidates said women’s reproductive rights was an important issue to them.

“With women’s rights under attack across our country, I will always act to ensure that local government steps up to protect them,” O’Keefe said.

Marcelin took aim at his opponent, incumbent City Commissioner Dianne Williams-Cox, for voting against a resolution asking state legislators to protect reproductive rights and health care access, saying it “really sent a message.”

“She was not there,” Marcelin said. “And I am humbled to be an ally to women in this community and really just overjoyed at the opportunity to really come back and serve and protect the rights of women.”

Matlow, who is facing David Bellamy in his re-election bid, said the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning Roe v. Wade this summer makes the group’s work in Tallahassee “more important than ever.”

“I’m grateful they’ve put their trust in me, especially given my opponent’s large political contributions to extreme anti-choice politicians like Matt Gaetz,” Matlow said.

Candidates must fill out a questionnaire and go through a screening process with Florida NOW, which then makes recommendations for endorsements to the committee.

Aimee Sachs

Aimee Sachs covers politics in her hometown of Tallahassee and the Panhandle. The University of Florida graduate began her career as a sportswriter for the Tallahassee Democrat, Lakeland Ledger and MLB.com. She has also worked for Courthouse News Service and was a senior reporter for The Florida Channel before joining Florida Politics. You can email Aimee at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @AimSachs.


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