• Press Release

Florida State Rep. Fentrice Driskell Nominated for EMILYs List’s Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star Award

March 28, 2023


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today EMILYs List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, announced that Florida state Rep. and House Minority Leader Fentrice Driskell is a nominee for the 10th annual Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star Award. EMILYs List President Laphonza Butler released the following statement:  

“Leader Fentrice Driskell has been a beacon of hope to the people of Florida’s 67th House District during a time when state Republicans have been determined to roll back freedom for all Floridians by any means necessary. Leader Driskell has seen the challenges that her community faces and risen to the occasion, and that ability has defined her career as a legislator and an attorney. In office, she has fought to fund Florida’s schools, reform the criminal justice system, and defend reproductive health care in spite of attempts to restrict it. We applaud Leader Driskell for all that she has accomplished and are proud that she is one of our nominees.”

In 2022, Rep. Fentrice Driskell became the first Black woman minority leader in the history of the Florida House of Representatives. She has a bachelor’s degree from Harvard, where she was the first Black student elected as student government president, and a J.D. from Georgetown University. Leader Driskell is a practicing attorney and is currently serving her third term in the Florida House, where she is a champion for reproductive freedom, public education, and voting rights. Leader Driskell was first endorsed by EMILYs List in 2018.

Named in honor of the dedicated and courageous Gabrielle Giffords, the Rising Star Award celebrates an extraordinary woman serving in state or local office. The award honors a woman who demonstrates the sort of commitment to community, dedication to women and families, and determination and civility that have been the highlights of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ career, in and out of office. Previous Rising Star Award recipients include former Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams in 2014, former Boston City Councilwoman Ayanna Pressley in 2015, former Colorado House Speaker Crisanta Duran in 2016, Philadelphia City Councilwoman Helen Gym in 2017, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx in 2018, and California Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo in 2019; former Ohio House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes in 2020; Harris County, Texas Judge Lina Hidalgo in 2021; and former Georgia Rep. Bee Nguyen in 2022. 

The Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star Award winner will be chosen with community input. Online voting can be found here

Fentrice Driskell is nominated alongside:

Shea Backus, Nevada State Representative
Sabrina Cervantes, California State Representative
Joanna McClinton, Pennsylvania Speaker of the House
Danica Roem, Virginia State Delegate
Michelle Au, Georgia State Representative

EMILYs List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, works to elect Democratic pro-choice women up and down the ballot and across the country with a goal of fighting for our rights and our communities. Our work is centered around a fundamental vision: Run. Win. Change the World. EMILYs List has raised $850 million in service to that vision and has helped Democratic women win competitive elections by recruiting and training candidates, supporting and helping build strong campaigns, researching the issues that impact women and families, running one of the largest independent expenditure operations for Democrats, and turning out women voters to the polls. Since our founding in 1985, we have helped elect the country’s first woman as vice president, 175 women to the House, 26 to the Senate, 20 governors, and over 1,500 women to state and local office. More than 40% of the candidates EMILYs List has helped elect to Congress have been women of color. Visit www.emilyslist.org for more information.