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State Rep. Daisy Morales Will Be Joined By Florida’s Youngest Elected Official For 2021 Legislative Session

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Newly elected Orange Soil & Water Conservation District Supervisor Nate Douglas gets sworn in by newly elected County Commissioner Nicole Johnson on December 28, 2020 in the Orange County Commission Chambers. Photo: Willie David/Florida National News.

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN) – Florida State Representative Daisy Morales (D-Orlando) will bring newly elected 19-year-old Orange Soil & Water Conservation District Supervisor Nathaniel Douglas (Seat 1) to Tallahassee as a guest for the start of the 2021 legislative session.

Opening Day 2021 is open only to current elected members of the Florida House and their registered guests, according to the Florida House of Representatives website.

Rep. Morales hails Supervisor Douglas as a trailblazer, being the youngest to ever be elected to the Orange Soil & Water Conservation District Board, and the youngest elected in the state of Florida during the 2020 election. The young rising star has already been elected Vice Chair by Orange Soil & Water Board. Morales will award Supervisor Douglas a special Black History Month tribute to him for the feat. “Supervisor Douglas is a gifted young man,” said Morales. “He is very much a part of Black History Month.”

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Supervisor Douglas, a substitute teacher with Orange County Public Schools and University of Florida economics junior, is a self-proclaimed progressive and big proponent of the Sunrise Movement, an initiative that combats climate change awhile creating green jobs. Douglas defeated two opponents over a decade his senior in the 2020 election—Bobby Agagnina and Tim Veigle—nabbing over 248,000 votes (49%).

There are 58 Soil & Water Conservation Districts across the state of Florida, each with a board of five elected members.

“I would like to thank Rep. Daisy Morales for this great opportunity to see what is getting done in Tallahassee,” said Supervisor Douglas in a written statement. “I look forward to this legislative session and really hope to see great legislation get passed.”

State Rep. Daisy Morales (far right) poses with the newly elected Orange Soil & Water Conservation District Supervisors which she helped swear in on December 28, 2020. (l-r): Supervisors Karolyn Campbell (Seat 2), Raquel Lozano (Seat 3), Alaina Slife (Seat 5), and Nathaniel Douglas (Seat 1). Photo: Willie David/Florida National News.

State Rep. Daisy Morales (far right) poses with the newly elected Orange Soil & Water Conservation District Supervisors which she helped swear in on December 28, 2020. (l-r): Supervisors Karolyn Campbell (Seat 2), Raquel Lozano (Seat 3), Alaina Slife (Seat 5), and Nathaniel Douglas (Seat 1). Photo: Willie David/Florida National News.

As a twice-elected Orange Soil & Water Conservation District Supervisor herself, Rep. Morales immediately noticed Supervisor Douglas’s drive to combat climate change and build strategic relationships to push the Orange Soil & Water Board forward. “I want to bring Supervisor Douglas to Tallahassee to give him a firsthand look at the legislative process and, more importantly, to be that bridge between the Orange Soil & Water Board and Tallahassee. Relationships are very important.”

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Florida House Democratic Leader-Designate Fentrice Driskell Announces Leadership Team

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida House Democratic Leader-Designate Fentrice Driskell (D-Tampa) today announced the appointment of the following Democratic Representatives to serve on the House Democratic Caucus leadership team for the 2022-24 legislative term:

  • Leader Pro Tempore: Representative Dotie Joseph (D-Miami);
  • Policy Chair: Representative Kelly Skidmore (D-Boca Raton);
  • Floor Leader: Representative Michael “Mike” Gottlieb (D-Davie); and
  • Whip: Representative Christine Hunschofsky (D-Parkland).

“The House Democratic Caucus is made up of some of the strongest, most fierce champions of the people in the entire state,” said Leader-Designate Driskell. “It is an honor and great pleasure to work with these individuals in this new capacity, and all of them are prepared to lead the Caucus in the face of the challenges that lie ahead of us.”

As Leader Pro Tempore, Representative Joseph will assist the Democratic Leader in carrying out designated responsibilities and perform such Leadership responsibilities as are assigned, including stepping in for the Leader as needed.

“I have had the distinct pleasure of knowing Representative Joseph for over 20 years. From the time we were at Georgetown Law to now, she has always been a consistent champion for justice. The issues she advocates for on behalf of all Floridians makes Representative Joseph an invaluable asset in defending Floridians against extremist Republican policies,” said Leader-Designate Driskell. “I look forward to Representative Joseph’s leadership as a key member of my team over the next two years.”

In her role as the Caucus Policy Chair, Representative Skidmore will be responsible for ensuring the Caucus continues to champion legislation that positively impacts all Floridians, and will lead discussions about bills before the House at Caucus meetings.

“As the previous Policy Chair for the Caucus, I know what is needed to do this job. Appointing Representative Skidmore as Policy Chair was an easy choice,” said Leader-Designate Driskell. “She stood out as a prime member in understanding policy during the last legislative term. Representative Skidmore also brings with her a wealth of experience as both a former House and Senate staffer and House member. Applying her unique skillset to this new role will benefit the Caucus and all Floridians.”

In his role as Floor Leader, Representative Gottlieb will be responsible in interpreting the House Rules, ensuring the Caucus adheres to the agreed upon rules, and working with his Republican counterpart in advocating for fair amounts of time be allotted to the Caucus in debating different pieces of legislation.

“Two things I greatly appreciate about Representative Gottlieb are his refreshing candor and strong fortitude,” said Leader-Designate Driskell. “As the minority party in the Legislature, we’re aware of the challenges that lie ahead of us. What we need right now is someone who is unwavering under extreme pressure to help guide our Caucus during difficult moments. Representative Gottlieb is perfectly suited for this role.”

As Whip, Representative Hunschofsky will be responsible for keeping all Democratic Caucus members apprised of Caucus policy on any bills or issues before the House.

Representative Hunschofsky has an amazing ability to get things done,” said Leader-Designate Driskell. “Not only does Representative Hunschofsky possess a wealth of knowledge due to her experience as the former mayor of Parkland, Florida, she is also a champion of many initiatives close to Floridians’ hearts, such as expanding access to quality mental health care. I know Representative Hunschofsky’s knowledge and ability will help prepare our Caucus for the challenges of the next two year.”

The Florida House Democratic Caucus will convene during Organizational Session taking place Nov. 21-22, 2022 in advance of the 2023 Legislative Session scheduled to begin on March 7, 2023.

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VIDEO: State Rep. Dianne Hart elected chair of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus

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ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN) – State Representative Dianne Hart (D-Tampa), incoming Chair of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus, talks briefly with Florida National News on the importance of the Florida Blue Florida Classic at Camping World Stadium in Orlando Saturday. The Florida Classic is an annual college football rivalry game between Bethune–Cookman University and Florida A&M University.

Hart’s Twitter Statement:

Hart’s statement: “I’m honored to have been elected as the Chair of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus.” “I’m grateful to my colleagues for their support and for trusting me to move this important caucus forward.”

During the 2021 and 2022 Legislative Sessions, Rep. Hart served on the following House committees, including Democratic Ranking Member of the Infrastructure and Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee, Judiciary Committee, Joint Committee on Public Counsel Oversight, Ways & Means Committee, Criminal Justice & Public Safety Subcommittee, State Legislative Redistricting Subcommittee and Select Subcommittee on Authorized Gaming Activity.

Hart was first elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2018. She is also the CEO of the East Tampa Business and Civic Association.

 

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Former State Rep. Bruce Antone Ready To Rejoin Florida House

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Former State Representative Bruce Antone respond to questions by CFABJ, NAACP, and the Florida Voters League panel during a candidates forum in Orange County, Thursday, October 19, 2022. (Photo by J Willie David, III / Florida National News)

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN) – Former Florida State Representative Bruce Antone served 12 years (six terms) in the Florida House of Representatives and defeated incumbent Democratic Rep. Travaris McCurdy during the August primary election to represent Orange County in the newly draw District 41 House seat.

CFABJ, NAACP, and Florida Voters League held a candidates forum for candidates seeking county, state and Congressional seats in Orange County, Thursday, October 19, 2022. (Photo by J Willie David, III / Florida National News)

CFABJ, NAACP, and Florida Voters League held a candidates forum for candidates seeking county, state and Congressional seats in Orange County, Thursday, October 19, 2022. (Photo by J Willie David, III / Florida National News)

Antone was among eleven candidates seeking election to county, state and Congressional seats participating in a candidate forum hosted by CFABJ, NAACP and the Florida Voters League, Wednesday, October 19, 2022.

Green Party nominee Robin Denise Harris is the only potential road block in Antone’s return to Tallahassee and faces off with him in the November general election. The District 41 House seat has an overwhelmingly Democratic voter base.

During his time in the Florida House, Antone was elected by his colleagues to serve as the Chairman of the 29-member Florida Legislative Black Caucus.

The general election is Tuesday, November 8, 2022.

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