Florida’s First Openly Gay State Lawmaker Elected
Miami Beach this week elected an openly gay Democratic legislator, a first for the State of Florida.
That changed [Tuesday night] as voters in Florida 113th House district, which encompasses parts of Miami Beach and Miami, elected David Richardson, an openly gay CPA. Though, when all is said and done Richardson may not even be the only openly gay politician headed to Tallahassee next year.
Richardson beat Adam Kravitz, an attorney who founded Jewish online dating service JDate, Mark Weithorn, husband of Miami Beach Commissioner Dedee Weithorn, and Waldo Faura, Jr., an insurance adjuster in the Democratic primary. He received 33 percent of the vote, besting Weithorn who came in second with 26.5 percent.
Florida Democratic Party chair Rod Smith told Naked Politics that Richardson “represents the rich, diversity that makes Florida great and we are pleased to welcome him to the state Legislature.”
While certainly Richardson’s being openly gay may have played well with certain demographics, the long-term Miami Beach resident went to lengths to place an emphasis on his qualifications, saying that even though he had never before run for office his previous role as an auditor for the U.S. Department of Defense made him well qualified to tackle the state’s financial situation and cut waste where needed.
As Miami New Times suggests, there may be more where this came from as openly gay Democratic candidate Joe Saunders will face Republican Marco Pena for Orlando’s District 49 in November, while Ian Whitley is in the running to take on Republican Holly Merrill-Raschein in a contest to represent District 120 of the Florida Keys.
In somewhat related news, openly gay Mark Pocan won Tuesday’s Democratic primary for Wisconsin’s 2nd Congressional District, the area previously represented by Tammy Baldwin who is currently bidding to be the US Senate’s first openly gay lawmaker.