In 2016, Paulette Armstead made her first run for political office. She lost her race for the Florida House of Representatives by just 718 votes.

Running as an out-and-proud African American lesbian, her run was historical. But Armstead has made history before as the first black female police officer hired by the St. Petersburg Police Department.

A Florida native, Armstead, 65, brings a wealth of educational achievements and diverse work experience to the political arena.

She has degrees in business and criminal justice; a masters in theology; and a Juris Doctorate/Law degree.

“After much reading and reflection, I came to believe that my sexuality is not a sin but rather all human sexuality is a gift from God and that God loves me just the way I am,” Armstead said. “I also came to know and believe that God does not hate me or any other LGBT person.”

At the St. Pete PD, Armstead rose through the ranks from a street cop to detective to deputy chief of legal affairs. Today, she lobbies on behalf of the Florida Justice Association and Equality Florida and is the Founder and Director of Broward Apprentices in Construction, a non-profit program that recruits men and women to work as paid apprentices in the construction trades. Armstead resides in Deerfield Beach.


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