The national organization, which is dedicated to helping Democrats win statehouse seats, likely signals an infusion of national dollars to a critical Special Election in January.
“Democrats in the Florida Legislature are ready to fight for all Floridians, and Tom is the perfect fit to aid that battle,” said DLCC interim President Heather Williams.
“Tom is no stranger to tough fights as a decorated military veteran – sacrificing for our nation and the values we hold dear. His commitment to uplifting Florida’s communities, protecting reproductive freedoms, and safeguarding LGBTQ+ rights is sorely needed in the Florida State Legislature, which has been a hotbed for extremism.”
The Central Florida seat opened up after former Republican state Rep. Fred Hawkins resigned to take a job as South Florida State College President.
Instantly, the battleground seat became a high priority for both parties. While Hawkins in 2022 won the seat by about 10 percentage points over Democrat Rishi Bagga, more voters in the district voted for Democrat Joe Biden for President than for Republican Donald Trump, even as Trump won the state’s electoral votes.
Democrats felt especially emboldened after the results of a South Florida Special Election for another open House seat. While Republican Mike Redondo won in state House District 118, he led Democrat Johnny Farias by only about 6 percentage points in a seat where Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis won by 30 points last year and Trump won by 17 points in 2020.
The endorsement from the DLCC shows heightened interest in a HD 35, where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans.
“As we work to break the Republican supermajority, every single seat matters to shift the balance of power in Florida,” Williams said. “The DLCC is proud to support Tom in his race and will be there every step of the way to help Tom flip this seat as we build Democratic power and combat Florida Republicans’ extreme, dangerous agenda.”