Supervisor Daisy Morales Running for State Representative to Change Wrongful Death Law

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – Orange Soil & Water Conservation District Supervisor Daisy Morales filed paperwork Thursday, May 21, 2020 with the Florida Division of Elections to run for State Representative Amy Mercado’s House District 48 seat. Morales announced her filing in a press release and on her Daisy Morales for State Representative HD 48 campaign Facebook page Sunday, but the why behind her decision may turn heads.

In her announcement, Morales stated that she’ll be fighting to change Florida’s Wrongful Death Law by proposing “Diana’s Law,” after what she says was the wrongful death of her special needs sister, Diana.

Morales was caretaker and legal guardian for her mother and Diana, who had Down Syndrome and was non-verbal. After Morales’s mother passed away, she became sole and court-appointed guardian for her sister Diana, at which point both parents were deceased, Diana couldn’t work, and she had no spouse. Diana contracted a bedsore while in a nursing home and eventually died after being transferred to a hospital.

In this file photo from January 2020, Supervisor Daisy Morales shows letters of rejection from various attorneys when she, as sibling and court-appointed caretaker for her special needs sister, Diana attempted to sue for wrongful death. (Willie David / Florida National News file photo)

“My sister’s death was preventable, and I reached out to lawyers to file a lawsuit against the nursing home, and anyone else who was responsible, but got nowhere,” Morales recently told FNN News. “Because my sister didn’t have a spouse, child, living parents, or a job, she had no value, according to the law as it’s currently written.”

She emotionally added, “The people responsible for her death faced no consequences. That’s unfair to her and to me as her legal guardian, and I’m sure we’re not the only ones in Florida who’ve experienced this.”

Morales claims she joined the race for State Representative to ensure what happened to her sister doesn’t happen to anyone else.

Orange County Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor Daisy Morales, her special needs sister Diana and Orange County Sheriff’s Jerry Demings (Facebook Page Photo by Daisy Morales)

Morales has a history of advocating for the special needs community, and is currently Vice Chair of Orange County’s Disability Advisory Board.

Morales’s Vision for Mercado’s Open Seat

Representative Mercado recently filed to run against incumbent Orange County Property Appraiser Rick Singh. Both are Democrats.

The district includes Azalea Park and other south-central Orange County communities, such as Meadow Woods, Taft and Sky Lake.

According to her press release, Morales’s campaign platform includes:

· Advocating for small businesses and workers’ rights

· Affordable access to quality healthcare, including coverage for mental health and pre-existing conditions

· Protecting Florida’s natural resources and green spaces

· Florida agriculture and helping farmers succeed

· Protecting Florida’s most vulnerable populations, especially seniors and the special needs community

Morales was first elected Orange Soil & Water Conservation District Supervisor in 2014 against three opponents, including a current and former board chair (by 83,000 votes). Supervisor Morales was re-elected in 2018 to a second four-year term with 256,000 Orange County votes.

A Bronx native of Puerto Rican blood, 59-year-old Morales has been an Orange County resident for over 30 years. She retired from the U.S. government after working for 24 years in various agencies, including the Justice Department, Department of Homeland Security and State Department.

“Representative Mercado has done a great job representing the residents of House District 48 in Tallahassee,” said Morales in her press release. “I am running for State Representative to expand upon her work as we move the district and state beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Supervisor Morales joined three other candidates who filed to run for House District 48: Anthony Tsonis, Nelson Pena, and Samuel Vilchez Santiago, all Democrats.

The ballot qualifying deadline is June 12, and the primary election happens August 18. No Republican challengers have filed at this point.

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