Florida state Representative Shevrin
Jones on Tuesday edged out five candidates to become the Democratic
nominee for the state's Senate District 35, which includes parts of
Miami-Dade and Broward counties.
Senator Oscar Braynon, the district's
incumbent, is not running because he is term limited.
Jones will face write-in opponent
Darren Hill, an Independent who hasn't been very active in the race,
in the fall. The district leans heavily Democratic.
Jones is one of just three openly LGBT
members of the Florida House. If elected in November, Jones would
become the state's first openly gay state Senator.
Jones was endorsed by the LGBTQ Victory
Fund, a group that backs LGBT elected officials.
“Shevrin shattered a long-standing
political barrier for LGBTQ candidates in Florida and did so while
running against opponents who attack our community – and that is
history-making,” LGBTQ Victory Fund President & CEO Annise
Parker said in a statement. “He won the trust of constituents
through his people-centered work and legislation while in the state
House, ensuring the homophobic attacks on him would fail and even
backfire. As a state senator, Shevrin will continue to be a role
model and inspiration for LGBTQ young people – and especially Black
LGBTQ youth – who too rarely see people like them in office.
Florida voters chose wisely and we are thrilled to have worked so
closely with Shevrin throughout his campaign.”
Two of Jones' opponents in Tuesday's
race are opposed to LGBT rights. Miami Gardens Councilman Erhabor
Ighodaro ran on a “families first” platform that excluded LGBT
couples, while former Florida state Representative Daphne Campbell
worked on anti-LGBT bills while in Tallahassee.
A Miami Herald story about Jones
being rejected from donating plasma after recovering from COVID-19
because he's gay was used during the campaign to target his
Text messages sent to voters read: “the
Miami Herald reported that Shevrin Jones was discriminated
against for recent homosexual contact.” The message linked readers
to the Miami Herald story.
Jones is a former AP Chemistry school