Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Miami Beach CPA is first openly gay person elected to Florida Legislature

Democrat David Richardson, a CPA from Miami Beach, was elected the state's first openly gay state representative Tuesday, narrowly defeating three opponents in an open primary race.

Florida Democratic Party chairman Rod Smith congratulated Richardson for making history, saying he "represents the rich diversity that makes Florida great, and we are pleased to welcome him to the state Legislature. He has the real world experience to help businesses create jobs, grow our economy and get this state working for the people again."

Richardson, 55, is a licensed CPA who had never before run for political office. But he is active among gay rights organizations and was among the gay community's hopes to finally land an openly gay legislator in Florida.

Richardson's platform includes ferreting out waste and corruption, which he said is bolstered by a career as a forensic auditor of government contracts that runs back to the 1980s when he was a senior auditor for the Pentagon.

"I don't want people to vote for me or not vote for me because I'm gay. I just want people to look at my record," he said.

Because there was no opponent on the general election ballot, the primary was open to all voters regardless of party affiliation.

Catching up on other results from Tuesday's primary:

Ron Saunders, the veteran state representative and outgoing Democratic House leader, cut his tenure short to take a long-shot chance to become the first senator from the Keys in 40 years. But he lost. Dwight Bullard, the son of outgoing Sen. Larcenia Bullard, used the strength of his family name and the heft of his vote-rich Miami district to defeat Saunders.

• Rep. Daphne Campbell of Miami defeated two Democratic challengers, despite reports that she is under investigation by the IRS and a suggestion by Democratic Party officials that she step down.

• The quest by Miami's Diaz de la Portilla family to have a "DLP" caucus fell short. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla walked into a second state Senate term with no opponent, but his younger brothers, Alex and Renier broke even as both pursued House seats. Alex won a Republican primary and Renier lost his.

Ryan to visit, raise funds

Paul Ryan is wasting little time in socializing with Florida's biggest money bags.

On Saturday, Mitt Romney's new VP pick will attend an evening reception at the private membership club of Bill Edwards, music mogul, mortgage magnate and St. Petersburg man-about-town.

It'll be Ryan's first Florida visit since he got picked as the GOP running mate. Ryan will visit the Club at Treasure Island with some of the wealthiest — and hard right — Republicans in the state.

According to an invite, developer Mel Sembler asks guests to contribute $2,500 per person or $5,000 per couple for regular admission. For VIP access, it's $25,000 per person to $50,000 per couple.

Dockery a TV analyst at RNC

Republican state Sen. Paula Dockery of Lakeland will be at the Republican National Convention in Tampa later this month — wearing a media pass, not a delegate's badge.

Tampa ABC station WFTS-Ch. 28 hired Dockery for primary election night analysis and will utilize her through the Nov. 6 general election, she said.

Dockery is termed out of office this fall after 16 years in the Legislature. She has a bachelor's degree in political science and a master's in mass communications from the University of Florida, and she writes a weekly column for the online news website floridavoices.com.

Times staff writers Michael Van Sickler and Steve Bousquet contributed to this report.

Miami Beach CPA is first openly gay person elected to Florida Legislature 08/15/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 15, 2012 10:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Hollywood lost a serious filmmaker in Jerry Lewis

    Movies

    The day the clown died, Hollywood lost a serious filmmaker in Jerry Lewis.

    Jerry Lewis in 2005. Lewis, the comedian and filmmaker who was adored by many, disdained by others, but unquestionably a defining figure of American entertainment in the 20th century, died on the morning of Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017, at his home in Las Vegas. He was 91 (New York Times)
  2. Game of Thrones: 'Beyond the Wall' is dark and full of terrors

    Blogs

    In the battle between the living and the dead, you win or you get the dragon queen to come rescue you.

    Beric Dondarrion (Richard Dormer) and Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) in Game of Thrones Season 7, episode 6.
  3. The Tampa Bay Rays are unlikely to make a decision on whether the team will leave Tropicana Field until after the St. Petersburg mayoral election, people close to the negotiations believe.
  4. Live video: See how the solar eclipse is unfolding across the country

    Space

    Americans with telescopes, cameras and protective glasses staked out viewing spots along a narrow corridor from Oregon to South Carolina to watch the moon blot out the midday sun Monday in what promised to be the most observed and photographed eclipse in history.

    A family sets up a tent at their campsite at sunrise for the solar eclipse Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, on the Orchard Dale historical farm near Hopkinsville, Ky. The location, which is in the path of totality, is also at the point of greatest intensity. [Associated Press]
  5. What time is the eclipse near me? NASA's interactive solar eclipse map has the best answer

    Space

    No matter where you are during today's solar eclipse, NASA has a map that will determine exactly what time the eclipse will begin, peak and end at every location in the United States.