Gay Democrats arrived in full force Saturday at the Diplomat Resort and Spa in Hollywood as the important pieces of the 2016 campaign are starting to assemble.
The Florida Democratic Party’s LGBTA Caucus held its meeting Saturday morning inside a conference room on the third floor of the Diplomat. Terry Fleming, Caucus President, welcomed several elected officials, dignitaries and invited guests into the conference room. Some issued remarks.
U.S. Congressman Patrick E. Murphy (FL-18) spoke about the race for the U.S. Senate and his background growing up in the Florida Keys.
“I’m a Conch,” Murphy said. “My parents always joked that I could swim before I could walk and I could fish before I could talk.”
Murphy was introduced to Democrats by Fort Lauderdale Commissioner Dean J. Trantalis, who described the two-term Congressman as the “ally” in the LGBTA rainbow. Trantalis, a gay man who said Broward County has been a “beacon of shining light” for gays and lesbians, called Murphy a “fabulous” Congressman.
As a certified public accountant, Murphy, 33, said he gets excited about numbers.
“Apparently, there are no CPAs in the Senate right now so hopefully I’ll be the first,” said Murphy, drawing applause from the room.
Also speaking at the meeting was Broward Sheriff Scott Israel and Equality Florida Public Policy Specialist Carlos Guillermo Smith. Smith, a gay Latino man, announced intentions to campaign for the Florida House of Representatives in District 49, formerly represented by another gay man, Joe Saunders. District 49 is in Central Florida.