A prominent South Florida LGBTQ advocacy group, SAVE, on Monday endorsed state Rep. David Richardson in his bid for Congress.
Richardson is part of a crowded field of candidates who have announced they are seeking the seat being vacated by retiring Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. He is also the first openly-gay person elected to the Florida Legislature.
In a news release prepared by Richardson’s campaign, SAVE Executive Director Tony Lima said the group’s endorsement “is the earliest SAVE has ever done because Rep. Richardson is a true champion of equality and the ideal candidate to replace Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen.”
Richardson welcomed the endorsement saying “SAVE does groundbreaking work on the front lines in the fight for equality and I’m honored to have their support. We’re going to win this race by putting together a strong, diverse coalition and the gay community is a critical part of that.”
SAVE chose to endorse Richardson although it backed two of his current opponents in previous elections. Those two opponents are Democratic state Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez and Republican Miami-Dade County Commissioner Bruno Barreiro.
Monday’s endorsement by SAVE follows last week’s announcement by Scott Fuhrman who said that he is supporting Richardson’s candidacy. Fuhrman ran against Ros-Lehtinen two years ago and was expected to run again this year before he removed his name from consideration.
In Monday’s release, Richardson’s campaign said SAVE’s endorsement “is sure to be a significant advantage in the race as it will be accompanied by a series of fundraisers as well as grassroots support from the group’s enormous network of committed volunteers.”
Other Democrats in the race are Miami Beach Commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez, University of Miami academic adviser Michael Hepburn and Mark Anthony Person.