Barack Obama endorses more than a dozen Democratic candidates in FL legislative, congressional races

Barack Obama
Barack Obama. White House photo

Former President Obama on Friday endorsed more than a dozen Democratic candidates in Florida running in legislative and Congressional races and encouraged voters to cast ballots early by mail or in person.

Those Democratic candidates are competing for four U.S. House seats, four state Senate seats, and six state House seats in the November election.

Alan Cohn is the Democratic candidate for Central’s Florida’s 15th Congressional District and faces Republican opponent Scott Franklin, who is serving his first term as a Lakeland city commissioner and is a U.S. Navy veteran.

Cohn, a former television reporter and investigative journalist, was the 2014 Democratic nominee for Congress in the district but lost. Now, in 2020, he’s up against Franklin. The district had been held by incumbent Ross Spano, but he lost in the primary.

“Proud to be among this list of Democrats endorsed by @BarackObama. This election is too important to sit out — and I’ll need your support to win in November,” Cohn tweeted Friday morning.

State Rep. Geraldine Thompson, who filed the successful lawsuit against Renatha Francis’ appointment to the Florida Supreme Court, is seeking reelection in District 44 against Republican Bruno Portigliatti. The district covers part of Orange County.

According to his website, Portigliatti graduated from the University of South Florida and is the CEO of Excellence Senior Living.

Thompson served in the state House and Senate between 2006 and 2016 before winning her Orange County House seat in 2018.

Obama endorsed U.S. Rep. Donna Shalala, a Miami Democrat representing Florida’s 27th Congressional District. The former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services under former President Bill Clinton will face Maria Elvira Salazar, a Miami Republican who was a journalist, in November.

In South Florida, U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell is in a tight race against Carlos Gimenez, the Miami-Dade mayor.

The other Florida Democrats endorsed by Obama are:

— Alan Cohn, 15th Congressional District

— Margaret Good, 16th Congressional District

— Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, 26th Congressional District

— Josh Hicks, 11th Florida House District

— Kayser Enneking, 21st Florida House District

— Patrick Henry, 26th Florida House District

— Jim Bonfiglio, 89th Florida House District State

— Franccesca Cesti-Browne, 115th Florida House District

— Loranne Ausley, 3rd Florida Senate District

— Patricia Sigman, 9th Florida Senate District

— José Javier Rodríguez, 37th Florida Senate District

— Javier Fernández, 39th Florida Senate District