Florida’s days on that list are numbered: Democrat David Richardson squeaked past three other challengers in an open primary Tuesday night to take Florida House District 113 — and become the Sunshine State’s first openly gay legislator.
“It was an incredibly humbling experience,” Richardson told HuffPost, noting that he was also able to garner significant support from Hispanic and Jewish communities as well as Republicans and Independents. “We’re at a time and place in history when we don’t need surrogates anymore, we can speak for ourselves and people are just going to look at our qualifications and nothing else.”
“David’s election sends a message to Tallahassee that LGBT Floridians will be heard,” said Victory Fund president CEO Chuck Wolfe, who also blogs for HuffPost. “Finally, we will have an authentic LGBT voice in the state capitol who will be unafraid to speak up and speak out for fairness.”
Without a Republican registered for the race, the 55-year-old bilingual CPA and small business owner is guaranteed his spot in Tallahassee representing parts of Miami Beach, Downtown Miami, and Little Havana. Richardson’s 33 percent of the vote bested JDate founder Adam Kravitz, Mark Weithorn, the husband of Miami Beach Commissioner Dedee Weithorn, and insurance adjuster Waldo Faura, Jr.
At least two other openly gay candidates have a shot at winning their own districts and joining Richardson in Tallahassee: Joe Saunders won the Democratic primary in Orlando’s District 49, and Ian Whitley was unopposed in the Democratic primary for South Florida’s District 120. Both will face off against Republican opponents in November.