For Immediate Release
March 2, 2022
EMILY's List Endorses Michele Rayner for Congress
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, EMILYs List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, endorsed state Rep. Michele Rayner to represent Florida’s 13th Congressional District. Laphonza Butler, president of EMILYs List, released the following statement:
“EMILYs List is proud to endorse Florida state Rep. Michele Rayner, a groundbreaking leader with a deep commitment to her community. She has earned a reputation as a powerful advocate for Floridians whose voices too often go unheard in the halls of power, and she has fought back against the extreme Republican agenda in Florida, including an abortion ban and the #DontSayGay bill. As a civil rights and social justice attorney with lived experience as an openly LGBTQ+ Black woman, Rayner brings a vital perspective to the toughest challenges facing Florida and our country. No state has ever before elected an openly LGBTQ+ Black woman to Congress, and Rayner has what it takes to be the first. This is a crucial race for control of the House, and EMILYs List knows Rayner has what it takes to win.”
Florida state Rep. Michele Rayner is running for Florida’s 13th Congressional District to fight for justice for Floridians on the federal level. Rayner grew up in Clearwater, Florida, raised by parents who taught her the importance of serving the community. She earned her bachelor’s degree as well as a master’s degree from Florida State University and went on to earn her Juris Doctor from Florida Coastal Law School. Rayner returned to Clearwater to serve as a public defender and advocate for the most vulnerable in her community. In 2018, Rayner founded her own law firm, Civil Liberty Law. She represented the family of Markeis McGlockton, a young Black man who was shot and killed in a Clearwater parking lot, in a case that reignited debate over Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law — an experience that motivated her to run for the Florida state legislature to fight unjust laws. In 2020, Rayner became the first LGBTQ+ person of color elected to the Florida House of Representatives. She lives in St. Petersburg, Florida with her wife, Bianca and their dogs.
EMILYs List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, has raised over $700 million to elect Democratic pro-choice women candidates. With a grassroots community of over five million members, EMILY's List helps Democratic women win competitive campaigns – across the country and up and down the ballot – by recruiting and training candidates, supporting and helping build strong campaigns, researching the issues that impact women and families, running nearly $50 million in independent expenditures in the last cycle alone, and turning out women voters and voters of color to the polls. Since our founding in 1985, we have helped elect the country's first woman as vice president, 159 women to the House, 26 to the Senate, 16 governors, and more than 1,300 women to state and local office. More than 40% of the candidates EMILYs List has helped elect to Congress have been women of color. After the 2016 election, more than 60,000 women reached out to EMILY's List about running for office laying the groundwork for the next decade of candidates for local, state, and national offices. In our effort to elect more women in offices across the country, we have created our Run to Win program, expanded our training program, including a Training Center online, and trained thousands of women.