Washington, DC – Today, Equality PAC Co-Chairs Chairman Mark Takano (D-CA) and Congressman David Cicilline (D-RI) announced the endorsement of Florida State Representative Michele Rayner for Florida’s 13th Congressional District. Rayner is running to succeed Rep. Charlie Crist, who is retiring at the end of the 117th Congress to run for Governor. Rep. Rayner is the first and only LGBTQ Black woman to serve in the Florida Legislature and, if elected, would be the first openly LGBTQ Black woman to serve in Congress.
“Equality PAC is proud to endorse Rep. Michele Rayner in Florida’s 13th Congressional District,” said Equality PAC Co-Chair Chairman Mark Takano. “Rep. Rayner’s history-making election as the first openly LGBTQ Black woman to serve in the Florida Legislature is a testament both to her commitment to public service and to the importance of LGBTQ representation across the country. I am inspired by the ferocity with which she has fought our community during her time in Tallahassee and I know she will bring the same dedication to U.S. Congress.”
“As one of just nine openly LGBTQ members of Congress, I am acutely aware of how important it is to expand and broaden our representation in the House, and I am thrilled Equality PAC is endorsing Rep. Michele Rayner to represent Florida’s 13th Congressional District,” said Equality PAC Co-Chair Congressman David Cicilline. “Rep. Rayner would be the first openly LGBTQ Black woman to serve in the United States Congress and her election would send an incredible message of representation and inclusivity to people across the country. I know she will be a relentless advocate for the people of Florida and for the LGBTQ community in Congress. She is running a strong, grassroots campaign — and Equality PAC is looking forward to doing everything we can to help her win.”
Michele Rayner is the State Representative for Florida House District 70. Born and raised in Pinellas County, Rayner is a widely respected and still practicing civil rights attorney and social justice advocate. She is a trial attorney at Denmon Pearlman Law. Prior to joining Denmon Pearlman, Rayner served as an Assistant Public Defender and Legislative Aide. Rayner earned her B.S. in Political Science and International Affairs and M.S. in International Affairs from Florida State University and her J.D. from Florida Coastal School of Law. Prior to her election to the state House, Rayner served as local counsel for the local NAACP Legal Defense fund. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the Fred G. Minnis Bar Association, and the NAACP. Michele and her wife, Bianca, live in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Equality PAC is the political arm of the Congressional LGBTQ Equality Caucus and is dedicated to the full legal and societal equality for LGBTQ Americans. All funds raised into Equality PAC are spent supporting and electing openly LGBTQ individuals and strong LGBTQ allies to the United States Congress who are committed to passing the Equality ACT and to ensuring full civil rights and protections for all LGBTQ Americans.
In total, Equality PAC raised over $6.3m for Equality PAC during the previous two-year cycle — with generous supporters in all 50 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico and throughout the business community. In addition to this, Equality PAC raised over $3.8m directly for our endorsed LGBTQ congressional candidates and funded crucial independent expenditures.
To learn more about Rayner and her campaign, please visit www.micheleforflorida.com.