Fentrice Driskell named EMILY’s List 2023 Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 11/21/22-Rep. Fentrice Driskell, D-Tampa, speaks Tuesday during Organizational Session at the Capitol in Tallahassee. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

'From fighting for common sense gun reform to addressing climate change and working to increase access to affordable housing, Leader Driskell has been on the forefront of the battle for meaningful change.'

Rep. Fentrice Driskell, the House Democrats Leader, has been named the 2023 Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star by EMILY’s List, a national organization that helps elect pro-choice women.

“During a time when Florida Republicans have done everything in their power to roll back our fundamental freedoms, Leader Fentrice Driskell has been a staunch defender of civil and reproductive rights — and her thoughtful and dedicated leadership is why we are proud to award her the Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star Award,” EMILY’s List President Laphonza Butler said.

This is the 10th year the group has given out the award. It recognizes extraordinary women in local or state office and honors commitment to community, dedication to women and families, and determination and civility shown by the award’s namesake, former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. 

“From fighting for commonsense gun reform to addressing climate change and working to increase access to affordable housing, Leader Driskell has been on the forefront of the battle for meaningful change,” Butler added.

“EMILY’s List is honored to award her this year’s Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star Award because we know that as her future in public service unfolds, she will continue to lead with grace and determination, shining a light for future generations of inspiring women legislators to come.”

Driskell became the first Black woman to be named Minority Leader in the House when she earned the position in 2022. She was also the first Black student elected student government president at Harvard, where she earned her bachelor’s degree.

Driskell earned her law degree from Georgetown University and is a practicing lawyer, in addition to her service in the House. EMILY’s List first endorsed Driskell in 2018.

Other nominees for this year’s awards included Nevada state Rep. Shea Backus; California state Rep. Sabrina Cervantes; Pennsylvania House Speaker Joanna McClinton; Virginia state Del. Danica Roem; and Georgia state Rep. Michelle Au.

Previous Rising Star recipients include former Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams in 2014; former Boston City Councilwoman and now-U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley in 2015; former Colorado House Speaker Crisanta Duran in 2016; former Philadelphia City Councilwoman Helen Gym in 2017; Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx in 2018; California Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo in 2019; former Ohio House Minority Leader and now-U.S. Rep. Emilia Sykes in 2020; Harris County, Texas Judge Lina Hidalgo in 2021; and former Georgia state Rep. Bee Nguyen in 2022.

Founded in 1985, EMILY’s List has helped elect 175 women to the U.S. House; 26 women to the U.S. Senate; 20 as Governors; and more than 1,500 to state and local office. The organization also helped elect the nation’s first woman Vice President. More than 40% of the candidates the group has supported have been women of color.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises Media and is the publisher of FloridaPolitics.com, INFLUENCE Magazine, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Previous to his publishing efforts, Peter was a political consultant to dozens of congressional and state campaigns, as well as several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella. Follow Peter on Twitter @PeterSchorschFL.

One comment

  • Earl Pitts American

    April 12, 2023 at 9:48 am

    Congrats Fentrice,
    I, Earl Pitts American, was an early supporter of her efforts in preserving black cemeteries and pushed that legislation thru. She’s a great American and my top candidate for leftist rehabilation. We are hopefull in getting her enrolled into our Republican Conversion political career saving rehabilation facility and ongoing support services prior to next legislative session.
    Congrats again,
    Earl Pitts American

Comments are closed.


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