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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Florida's first openly gay legislator to focus on budget and education



David Richardson, a 55-year-old forensic accountant and political newcomer, says he’s comfortable having made Florida history on election night.

“I am the first openly gay legislator in the history of Florida. And forever will be," said Richardson, who on Tuesday defeated three other candidates to represent state House District 113 in Miami Beach.

Richardson grew up in Orlando, earned biology and accounting undergraduate degrees at the University of Central Florida and a Master in Business Administration at the University of Tampa. After starting as a $10,000-a-year Pentagon auditor in Tampa, he joined what is now Ernst & Young. In 1993, he started his own CPA practice. Business brought him to Miami Beach in 1995 and he became a permanent resident in 2001.

“I often thought about getting involved in state government or helping some way. I decided this race would go to a newcomer and it was possible for me with my background to win," he said. "I’m a completely American dream story."

His father was a cab driver and factory worker; his mother worked in a meat-packing plant. More from Steve Rothaus here.

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[Last modified: Saturday, August 18, 2012 4:03pm]


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