10 sitting, former state lawmakers back Debbie Mucarsel-Powell for Senate
Debbie Mucarsel-Powell. Image via Mucarsel-Powell campaign.

Debbie Mucarsel-Powell
Shevrin Jones, Tina Polsky lead group of Democratic stalwarts in backing the Democrat's challenge to Rick Scott.

Ten sitting and former Democratic state legislators are endorsing former U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell’s U.S. Senate campaign.

State Sens. Shevrin Jones and Tina Polsky endorsed the Miami Democrat, as did state Reps. Kevin Chambliss, Lindsay Cross, Anna Eskamani, Ashley Gantt, Michael Gottlieb and Marie Woodson.

“I’m honored to be endorsed by so many of Florida’s incredible state legislators,” Mucarsel-Powell said

“I’ve worked with each of these leaders and know they are tenacious, compassionate elected officials who’s work in the state legislature is vital to the livelihoods of Florida’s families and communities. As U.S. Senator, I’ll fight every day for the needs of their communities in Washington and look forward to working together to defeat Rick Scott in November.”

Additionally, former state Sen. Annette Taddeo, a 2022 candidate for Congress, and former state Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, a current state Senate candidate, announced their support.

The endorsements come less than 24 hours after Phil Ehr, Mucarsel-Powell’s chief opponent to date for the Democratic nomination for Senate, dropped out to run for Congress. He also endorsed Mucarsel-Powell in her Senate bid.

The state legislators praised Mucarsel-Powell’s work ethic and life story.

“Debbie Mucarsel Powell has dedicated her life to building safer, stronger communities, and I’m proud to support her for U.S. Senate,” said Jones, a Miami Gardens Democrat.

“As Rick Scott pushes to end Medicare and slash taxes for the ultra wealthy like himself, Floridians are left holding the bag. We deserve a champion in Washington focused on getting results and actually improving people’s lives. Debbie is a proven fighter for working people, and I’m committed to doing everything I can to help her win and ensure Scott is a one-term Senator come November 2024.”

Polsky, a Boca Raton Democrat, said Mucarsel-Powell had a history of getting results for constituents.

“Debbie Mucarsel-Powell has stood up for Floridians her whole career, from working to expand access to health care while at FIU to writing the bill to expand Medicare in Congress. She understands that our seniors depend on Medicare and Social Security.”

Chambliss said Mucarsel-Powell, who won her seat in Congress in 2018 unseating a Republican incumbent, is a proven fighter.

“Having worked closely with Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, I can tell you firsthand, she is a fierce fighter for Florida,” he said. “After losing her father to gun violence, she has been steadfast in her commitment to make Florida families safer and we will continue to work together to protect our kids from the gun violence epidemic in our community. She is an experienced and stronger leader who has what it takes to deliver for our state and to beat Rick Scott.”

Others see her as a candidate capable of unseating Scott, who is running for a second term six years after narrowly winning his seat. Scott this year is running his first statewide campaign when registered Republicans in Florida outnumber Democrats.

“I know she can win,” said Gantt, a Miami Democrat

“Her dedication to serving is about the people and not the title unlike her opponent. Extremists like Rick Scott have rigged an unfair system where the few at the top make millions while others in our state are finding it harder and harder to afford to live and afford necessities: that’s unacceptable. Debbie has what it takes to beat him and change course for so many hardworking Floridians.”

South Florida lawmakers said they have seen results of her work.

“Florida needs a champion for our families, for our environment, and for our economy,” said Gottlieb, a Davie Democrat. “In Congress, Debbie stood up to huge corporations and polluters and delivered relief funds to small businesses and restoration funds for the Everglades. Debbie brings people together and wins big fights for Floridians. That’s exactly why we need her in the U.S. Senate.”

Taddeo sees Mucarsel-Powell as a candidate who can shift conversation back in a way that helps Democrats.

“Florida needs a game-changing candidate to win this state back for working families, and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell is that candidate,” Taddeo said. “Whether it’s delivering immediate economic relief to small businesses or working to lower the cost of health care, I’ve seen her work non-stop to deliver for Miami families and I look forward to calling her Senator.”

Smith said she has a strong message for voters.

“Debbie is smart, she’s tough, she cares about people, and I know she can win,” he said. “While radical extremists like Rick Scott are stacking the deck in favor of the ultra rich and big corporations, while Florida’s working class gets squeezed more and more. Debbie puts people over power — always has, always will. And that’s why she’s going to win next November.”

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].

One comment

  • Conservative always

    October 20, 2023 at 10:39 am

    Democrats supporting a Democrat. *shocked*

Comments are closed.


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