Ben Diamond joins Dem primary for Charlie Crist’s U.S. House seat; joins national security expert Eric Lynn

Ben Diamond is seeking the Democratic nomination for a Pinellas County congressional seat. Source: Campaign video

Now there are two Democrats running to fill the U.S. House seat being vacated by Charlie Crist — Eric Lynn, a former foreign policy adviser to President Barack Obama, and Ben Diamond, a state House member from Pinellas County.

Diamond announced his candidacy on Monday via a biographic video on his Twitter feed and during a rally in St. Petersburg. He promised to support voting rights, criminal justice reform, affordable and accessible health care, reproductive freedom, bans on sales of assault weapons and large magazines, immigration reform, and environmental protection.

Congressional District 13 covers much of Pinellas County.

“This will be a tough race. It will be one of the most competitive congressional races in the nation and one of the most expensive” and will feature “a lot of outside forces with unfamiliar names flooding our TV and computers and iPhones and radios with breathless ads and wild claims,” Diamond said.

“But it is absolutely critical that we elect a Democrat to continue to represent our district in Washington,” he said. Given narrow Democratic control of the House, “President Joe Biden needs this House to remain under Democratic leadership so he can continue to get things done for all Americans.”

Diamond has served in the state House since 2016. He is the grandson of Dante Fascell, who served in the U.S. House between 1955 and 1992.

Lynn announced his candidacy on May 5. He advised presidential candidate Obama on foreign policy and served in the Department of Defense after Obama was elected.

“With the support of my neighbors and the community here in Pinellas, I’ll be their voice for innovative climate solutions, 21st Century jobs that make ends meet, and a secure equal future for every family in our community,” Lynn said on his campaign website.

“But, most importantly, I’ll be a voice for common sense and getting bills passed that make a real difference in people’s lives because the stakes are too high for anything less.”

Also seeking the seat is Republican Anna Paulina Luna, an Air Force veteran and Donald Trump supporter who lost to Crist last year.

“Voters will reject the liberal elite’s race-baiting politics, their betrayals of American workers, families, and law enforcement officers, and their open borders, tax and spend, anti-American agenda,” she said at the time.

Michael Moline
Michael Moline has covered politics and the legal system for more than 30 years. He is a former managing editor of the San Francisco Daily Journal and former assistant managing editor of The National Law Journal. He began his career covering the Florida Capitol for United Press International. More recently, he wrote for Florida Politics.