It was quite a year for Elijah Manley. Manley campaigned for the Florida House of Representatives, challenging incumbent Rep. Bobby DuBose for the District 94 seat.
The 22-year-old eventually lost to DuBose in the Democratic primary, but received nearly 9,000 votes for a 30% showing.
Campaigning during a pandemic is not easy and Manley — who identifies as queer, Black and Jewish — also had to deal with a frightening encounter while canvassing one day in Wilton Manors. Manley was attacked by what police described as a foul-mouthed and inebriated man as they delivered door hangers in an apartment complex.
Manley told SFGN they have decided to drop charges against the local resident.
“I have decided not to file any charges with the State Attorney’s Office,” Manley said. “I’ll be following up with their office to see if we could get the individual anger management and substance abuse treatment.”
Manley campaigned under the Bernie Sanders wing of the Democratic party and is practicing the socialist’s ideology when it comes to jail and prison sentences.
“Being behind bars isn’t likely to change his behavior towards others or fix any of his problems,” Manley said.
The Florida House campaign was Manley’s third campaign for public office. Manley's campaign for Broward school board — following the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland — received 43,009 votes and drew the attention of safety and education advocates.
“I supported him very strongly when he did that,” said Kathleen M. Bonczyk, Esq., of the Workplace Violence Prevention Institute. “Elijah understands what needs to be done to prevent tragedies.”