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.

Reports Miami New Times:

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.


Related Reading:

130 Reps Ask Supreme Court to Strike Down DOMA

LGBT Equality Caucus: We’re Making it Better

Rep. Tammy Baldwin Says GOP is Divided on DOMA

Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to -Marlith-.


Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle5 years ago

I hope I live long enough to see people run for office without the press mentioning their sexual orientation, only their qualifications that would make them good legislators.

Mari Garcia
Mari Garcia5 years ago

Great news.

Jenny S.
Jenny Sejansky5 years ago

Yay! We finally did something right!

Miranda Lyon
Miranda L5 years ago

Nice to have an example of something wonderful out of Florida for a change.

Norma V.
Norma Villarreal5 years ago

Florida....great move.

Karen Howard
Karen H5 years ago

Yes, Florida--but more specific: Miami Beach, where the LGBT isn't as much of an issue as other locales. Hopefully the rest of the state will follow suit.

Joseph Belisle
Joseph Belisle5 years ago

Woah! Florida? Really?

Jen Matheson
Past Member 5 years ago

Finally some positive news out of Florida for a chang!

Vincenzo Correale

Congratulations David Richardson!

Jill Sidley
Jill Sidley5 years ago

I long for the day that happens in my distict!