James Call, Tallahassee Democrat
The Florida AFL-CIO endorsed Rep. Loranne Ausley, D-Tallahassee, Wednesday for state Senate District 3. Incumbent Sen. Bill Montford, D-Tallahassee, is term-limited after the 2020 session.
Ausley and former Tallahassee City Commissioner Scott Maddox are the only Democratic candidates to file for the seat. But Maddox faces sentencing in February in a public corruption case and has drained all the money from his campaign account.
Ausley represented Tallahassee in the state House from 2000 to 2008. She reclaimed the seat in 2016 and was re-elected last year. AFL-CIO President Mike Williams called her a “tireless champion” for working families not only at the state Capitol but also an advocate away from the Capitol.
“I am so honored to receive the early endorsement from the Florida AFL-CIO,” said Ausley. “I look forward to working with their members and activists throughout the state of Florida on behalf of working people.”
The AFL-CIO pledged the “full support” of its volunteers and infrastructure to the Ausley campaign. That pledge may clear the field for the veteran lawmaker. Former Congresswoman Gwen Graham has declined to rule out whether she will be a candidate for office next year.
Ausley, though has raised more than $250,000 for the race.
The Republican primary for the seat has attracted two candidates. Marvis Harris Preston and Benjamin Alexander Thaddeus John Horbowy will compete for the GOP nomination.
The Libertarian Party will also field a candidate in the general election. Erin Dawn Gill will appear on the November 2020 ballot as the LPF candidate.