State Representative Michele Rayner of District 70 officially announced her campaign for U.S. Congress in 2022 to replace the seat left vacant by Charlie Crist who is running for governor.
Rayner, a Democrat and the first openly gay woman of color elected to the Florida Legislature, will join a list of candidates in the upcoming primary looking to represent the Democratic party in the 13th Congressional District of Florida.
The official announcement on Monday comes after her campaign site published a video a day before highlighting her bid for Congress that aims at Republicans who, as she states, “put their own agenda ahead of the people.” Additionally, she says, “As a State Representative, I’ve spoken truth to power, and I’ll continue standing up to Republicans who try to bully us into submission,” regarding the Republican controlled Florida Legislature.
Along with many other House Democrats in Florida during the last legislative session, Rayner opposed bills like the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act that banned transgender women from participating in sports, as well as the Combating Public Disorder Act, otherwise known as the “anti-riot” bill, that cracks down on violent forms of protest. Rayner also sponsored bills involving firearms that would have established a stricter licensing process for gun-owners, as well as a ban on assault weapons and large-capacity magazines.
According to her press conference, Rayner, who was born-and-raised in Pinellas County and worked as a civil rights attorney, says that the campaign is “very personal” to her. She said that “it is a critical moment for our nation and our state’s history” that “demands all people have full access to their civil and human rights” which she notes is an action the Legislature “refuses to take.”
“I am running for Congress because I believe that this is where I can do the most good for my community… with the same determination, tenacity, selflessness, and commitment to public service that I have employed my entire time here in Florida,” she added.
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