Whitney Prescott Rawls, an information technology entrepreneur, launched his campaign for the Florida House of Representatives Saturday with a message of hope, faith and optimism.
Backed by several elected officials and with the support of his wife and mother, Rawls, 41, became the first candidate to officially announce intentions to seek the seat vacated by Representative Gwyn Clarke-Reed who is term limited. Florida House District 92 includes parts of Fort Lauderdale, Oakland Park, Pompano Beach and Deerfield Beach.
In his speech to supporters at the Pat Larkins Community Center in Pompano Beach, Rawls said his campaign would be a "game changer."
"I've committed my life to do things for others and help people get access to the resources they need," he said.
Broward County Clerk of Court Howard C. Forman endorsed Rawls, stating "what you need in Tallahassee is strong, energetic people and Whitney is that. You have to be quick and smart and that's the best way to describe Whitney."
Rawls spoke openly of his Christianity and love of God. When asked how he would represent the district's LGBT communities, Rawls said his approach would not be condemnatory.
"I would never do anything to impede on anybody's right to choose and to live their life the way they want," he told SFGN in an exclusive interview following his speech. "I am a principled centered man so there are some things that I won't do myself because of the way I've been raised, but for the most part God never takes away our right to choose so why should I do that."
Currently Rawls and Sajan Kurian, a medical technician, are the only two candidates to file in the Democratic Party's primary. Kurian has yet to make an official announcement.