Florida Politics: EMILYs List, Ruth’s List tout two dozen victories in legislative primaries
By Drew Wilson
Two groups dedicated to getting Democratic women into elected office touted a string of victories in Tuesday’s primary elections.
EMILYs List, a nationwide group that boosts pro-choice candidates, listed off 17 women it has backed who are heading to the general election in state legislative races across the state.
The candidates include Patricia Sigman, the party-backed candidate who won the primary for Senate District 9 — one of Florida Democrats’ priority races this cycle. Other Senate candidates include Reps. Loranne Ausley and Tina Polsky, who got by primary challengers in safe Democratic seats.
“Democrats only need to flip four seats to turn the Florida Senate blue, and we are proud to stand with the women who are poised to help get the job done. EMILYs List has placed Florida Senate Republicans ‘On Notice’ for their shameful record of voting to strip women of their reproductive freedoms,” EMILYs List president Stephanie Schriock said in a news release.
“We look forward to helping flip the state Senate, increasing the representation of pro-choice Democratic women in the state House, and electing Daniella Levine Cava as the first woman mayor of Miami-Dade County this fall.”
EMILYs List also congratulated 14 House candidates, half of them incumbents, including Reps. Joy Goff-Marcil in HD 30, Geraldine Thompson in HD 44, Anna Eskamani in HD 47, Jennifer Webb in HD 69, Delores Hogan Johnson in HD 84, Cindy Polo in HD 103 and Dotie Joseph in HD 108.
The challengers on the list: former FDP Chair Allison Tant in HD 9, Gainesville physician Kayser Enneking in HD 21, Kelly Skidmore in HD 81, Felicia Robinson in HD 102, Robin Bartleman in HD 104, Maureen Porras in HD 105 and Franccesca Cesti-Browne in HD 115.
Ruth’s List, a Florida-based organization, also highlighted Sigman and Polsky in a Wednesday news release.
“Republicans spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in negative attack ads against Patricia Sigman, but voters ignored them. We look forward to flipping this seat come November and getting one step closer to a majority in the Florida Senate,” said Barbara Zdravacky, Ruth’s List Florida’s interim CEO. “In SD 29, Tina Polsky won handily despite being out raised by a self-funding candidate. Polsky’s and Sigman’s victories in the fall will bring the number of Democratic women Senators to 8.”
In the House, Ruth’s List-endorsed candidates also won 8 highly competitive primaries. There was some overlap, but the organization also highlighted Michele Rayner in HD 70, Yvonne Hinson in HD 20, and Marie Woodson in HD 101 — will go on to replace men who previously held those seats. Another candidate, Angie Nixon, is set to replace Rep. Kim Daniels in HD 14.
“In 2018, we proved that when women run, they win. In 2020, we’re demonstrating those victories were not a one-off, but part of a fundamental shift in our state’s leadership. Bring on November,” said Sen. Arthenia Joyner, Ruth’s List Florida board chair.