The LGBTQ Victory Fund has endorsed 17 candidates for public office in the state of Florida.

Three of the 17 are sitting Florida lawmakers led by Representative and Senator-elect Shevrin Jones of West Park and his colleagues Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith of Winter Park and Rep. Jennifer Webb of St. Petersburg. 

The other state-level candidates are Michele Rayner, Representative-elect in Tampa area District 70, Ricky Junquera, District 118 and Joshua Hicks, District 11. Rayner is the first queer Black woman ever elected to the Florida House, while Junquera and Hicks are gay men seeking to flip Republican-held seats in Miami-Dade and Nassau-Duval Counties, respectively. 

In city and county races, the fund has endorsed six incumbents: Monroe County Commissioner Heather Carruthers, Key West Mayor Teri Johnston, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis, Fort Lauderdale Commissioner Steve Glassman, Oakland Park Mayor Matthew Sparks and Wilton Manors Commissioner Julie Carson. 

Challengers backed by the Victory Fund are Oakland Park Commission candidate Mitch Rosenwald, Broward County Soil and Water Supervisor candidate Beau Simon, Margate Commission candidate Lesa Peerman, Duval County Clerk of the Courts candidate Jimmy Midyette and West Melbourne City Council candidate Daniel McDow. 

Reached by telephone on Tuesday afternoon, Rosenwald, a gay man, said he brings a wealth of experience as a social worker and college professor to the race to fill three seats on the Oakland Park Commission.

“I have the heart and vision to move our city to the next level,” he said.

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