Jared Moskowitz’s bid for Congress earns more elected leaders’ endorsements

Broward County Commissioner Jared Moskowitz has another broad swath of elected leaders — from the state level on down — endorsing him as their preferred candidate to succeed Democratic U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch.

Moskowitz’s campaign for Congress announced four new endorsements Thursday for his bid representing a congressional district that spans Broward and Palm Beach counties.

The latest are former Attorney General Bob Butterworth, the state’s longest-serving Attorney General in history; Democratic Reps. Ben Diamond of St. Petersburg and Michele Rayner of Clearwater; and Palm Beach Gardens Vice Mayor Rachelle Litt.

These latest nods bring the number of elected and community leaders endorsing Moskowitz’s congressional bid to 84, his campaign said. They range from School Board members to former members of Congress.

Diamond’s endorsement highlighted Moskowitz’s years in the House when they were colleagues until 2019.

“I know firsthand that he will be a Democratic champion in Washington just as he was in Tallahassee,” Diamond said in a written statement. “His leadership in the Legislature was vital to our caucus, and he never shied away from even the toughest fights. From instituting measures to prevent gun violence and fighting for Florida’s working families to defending the State of Israel and pushing for sustainable environmental practices, I know Jared will serve his community well in Congress.”

The district Moskowitz is vying to represent stretches from Boca Raton to Fort Lauderdale. It includes Moskowitz’s hometown of Parkland, where he was elected to the City Commission at age 25.

In 2012, he was elected as a state Representative. Moskowitz resigned his term in the House early, after Gov. Ron DeSantis asked him to lead the state Division of Emergency Management in 2019. There, he earned the nickname “Master of Disaster” as he led the state through the COVID-19 outbreak, the initial vaccine distribution rollout, and then hurricanes during the outbreak.

Butterworth, who has also worked under Republican Governors in his role, lauded Moskowitz’s “Democratic values.”

“I know from experience that running a statewide department is a difficult job, and I was deeply impressed by the way that Jared was able to find success in helping people after hurricanes and during the pandemic,” Butterworth said. “I’m confident that Jared will continue that commitment to public service and our shared Democratic values when he is elected to Congress.”

Rayner recalled his willingness to help her community during the pandemic.

“Jared was my direct contact and I’m thankful he was able to help,” her statement read. “Jared worked tirelessly to make sure communities of color had access to testing and vaccines, and I know that his work saved lives. Jared’s commitment to justice and his care for helping struggling families and underserved communities will make him a strong Democratic advocate.”

The district leans heavily Democratic and the candidate who wins the party’s nomination will likely win the seat. So far, Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Ben Sorensen has put his name in the running for the Democratic nomination for the job, as has political neophyte Curtis Calabrese, a former U.S. Navy combat pilot, whose eligibility to run as a Democrat has been thrown into question.

Other candidates in the race are Republicans Steve Chess, a retired chiropractor, Jim Pruden, a lawyer, and Darlene Swaffar, a Deerfield Beach insurance broker. Mark Napier and Christine Scott, who are not affiliated with a party, are also running.

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