LARGO, Florida – Another Democrat throws his hat into the ring for the District 13 seat in the United States House of Representatives.
Civil rights lawyer and state legislator Michele Rayner announced her candidacy Monday morning in Largo with little pomp, surrounded by a small group of family members and supporters of her family’s church.
“We need bold, people-centered leadership. We need to protect our democracy and ensure that the people, not Michele, not the rich and the corporations, but the people get what they deserve,” he said. she declared to her supporters.
Rayner was elected to Florida House in 2020. If she won this race, she would be one of the first openly LGBTQ women of color to sit in Congress.
She is perhaps best known for legally representing the family of Markeis McGlockton, a black man who was gunned down while in the parking lot of a convenience store in Clearwater. The case sparked debate over Florida’s defense law.
USF political scientist Dr Ed Benton says Rayner is the most progressive of the three Democrats vying for the seat vacated by Rep. Charlie Crist who is running for governor again. She is entering the race following state lawmaker Ben Diamond and former Obama adviser Eric Lynn.
“That’s the most important thing right now is to bring attention to parting with a wide range of candidates to win the primary,” Benton told FOX 13.
On the Republicans’ side is Anna Paulina Luna, who is fresh in the minds of voters after nearly beating Crist for the same seat in 2020.
More candidates are expected to enter the contest – and their job is done for them in a race that is essential for Democrats to maintain their power in the House.