Elijah Manley picked up a key endorsement in the special election for Florida House District 94.

The Sun Sentinel tapped Manley to fill the vacancy in the legislative district that covers parts of Fort Lauderdale, Oakland Park and Wilton Manors. The newspaper said the 22-year-old offers a “fresh face and a more well-rounded grasp of the issues.”

“He has grown both as a person and as a candidate,” wrote the Sun Sentinel’s editorial board.

This is Manley’s third attempt at public office and second campaign for the District 94 seat. He finished second to outgoing Representative Bobby DuBose in the 2020 Democratic primary. 

Manley said having the recommendation of Fort Lauderdale’s daily newspaper of record means a lot.

“It’s one of the most coveted endorsements in politics,” Manley said, adding it came as a surprise.

“I didn’t think I’d get it,” Manley added.

In making his case to the Sun Sentinel, Manley said, “I am not beholden to lobbyists and special interests, and that gives me the ability to evaluate issues and make decisions on behalf of our district.”

The election is Jan. 11 and vote-by-mail is already underway. Manley is one of four candidates competing. All are Democrats but voting is open to anyone registered in the District regardless of party affiliation.

If Manley wins it would be quite a comeback for the young queer candidate of color who has risen from homelessness and extreme poverty to lead a new generation of community activists in deep blue Broward County.

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