Florida House to include first openly gay lawmakerby John Kennedy | August 15th, 2012
Amid the dust of Tuesday’s primary elections, a little history has been made in Florida.
Democrat David Richardson, a Miami Beach accountant, was elected over three primary opponents and becomes the first openly gay candidate elected to the Florida Legislature. Richardson’s candidacy was backed by gay rights advocates in South Florida, who conducted phone-banking for him in the race’s closing hours.
“Florida’s journey to total equality, including marriage equality, is far from over,” Save Dade, a human rights organization, said in touting Richardson’s election. “But David’s victory is a big step forward for our community.”
Richardson faces no Republican or write-in opposition in November, meaning the primary contest settled the election.
For his part, Richardson acknowledged that any effort to promote a gay rights agenda will be muted in a Legislature where he is a minority within the minority party. He earlier told the South Florida Gay News that he is a political “realist.”
“I feel strongly about equality,” Richardson told the paper. “We have to get there by taking small steps. But my experience has shown me that we never make true progress until we sit at the table.”