Florida Representative Shevrin Jones is facing a homophobic challenger in his bid to become the state’s first gay black senator.
Erhabor Ighodaro, a Miami Gardens councilman, is running what the LGBTQ Victory Fund calls, “one of the most homophobic campaigns we’ve seen from a Democratic candidate this year.”
“What we are seeing from Erhabor Ighodaro is not simply a homophobic record or remark, but an entire campaign aimed at inspiring hatred toward his opponent because of his sexual orientation,” said Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund in a press release.
Ighodaro was recently caught on camera telling a room full of people he would not concede evangelical Christian support to Republicans.
"We still have people who have values in the Democratic Party,” Ighodaro said. “And we have values — we're gonna fight for our families, yes. There is an image that God says a marriage should look like, that families should look like. And that's what we're gonna fight for."
Jones acknowledged to the Miami New Times that the comments were a “knock on me.”
“Don't focus on me,” Jones advised Ighodaro. “People are looking to somebody to go to Tallahassee to be their champion, not their judge."
Added Parker, “It is especially egregious that Ighodaro would attack Shevrin’s family or to try and label him as anti-family. Shevrin is incredibly close with his father, who is a widely admired pastor, as well as his mother and brothers. It was in grieving the passing of one of his brothers that Shevrin decided to publicly come out while a state representative – recognizing that life is fragile and it was important to live his truth. Shevrin is running openly and honestly and will remain focused on a message of inclusion and in delivering results for his constituents. The contrast with Ighodaro’s hateful and selfish campaign could not be starker.”
Jones and Ighodaro are part of a five candidate Democratic field for the open Florida Senate seat in district 35, which represents Miami in the Florida Capitol.