FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 18, 2020
Contact: Becca Tieder
Ruth’s List Florida
Ruth’s List Florida Candidates Achieve Major Victories in August Election
31 Democratic Pro-Choice Women Endorsed by Ruth’s List Win Primaries
Tampa, Fla. – On the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, 31 women leaders endorsed by Ruth’s List Florida won their races Tuesday, a clear sign that 2020 will be a record year for female political leadership.
“As the primary comes to a close, it is clear that voters are overwhelmingly choosing women leaders to take the helm at every level of government.” said Barbara Zdravecky, Ruth’s List Florida’s interim CEO. “For more than 10 years, Ruth’s List has worked to recruit, train, and elect Democratic, pro-choice women. Last night, we saw that work pay off in primaries across the state.”
The victories include:
- In the Senate, Patricia Sigman, whom Ruth’s List recruited and endorsed for this critical race, won the Senate District 9 primary in the Orlando area and will face Republican Jason Brodeur in November. “Republicans spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in negative attack ads against Patricia Sigman, but voters ignored them. We look forward to flipping this seat come November and getting one step closer to a majority in the Florida Senate,” said Zdravecky. In SD 29, Tina Polsky won handily despite being out raised by a self-funding candidate. Polsky’s and Sigman’s victories in the fall will bring the number of Democratic women Senators to 8.
- In the House, Ruth’s List-endorsed candidates also won 8 highly competitive primaries. Four candidates – Michele Rayner (HD 70), Robin Bartleman (HD 104) , Yvonne Hinson (HD 20), and Marie Woodson (HD 101) – will go on to replace men who previously held those seats. One of them, Angie Nixon, will go on to replace an anti-choice Democrat in HD 14. Miami-Dade-based attorney Maureen Porras won her primary and will go head to head with the Republican nominee in HD 105, a top target red-to-blue flip seat.
- At the local level, Ruth’s List candidates also saw big wins. County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava, vying for Miami-Dade County Mayor – often considered the second most powerful position in the state – emerged from a crowded field to face a run-off against Republican Esteban Bovo in November. Additionally, 16 endorsed women – from Tallahassee to Sarasota – won their primary or are moving to a runoff. “In the past 6 months, we have worked to aggressively expand our involvement in local and municipal races. Building the bench means supporting and investing in women early on at the local level – and that bench is growing,” said Kayla vanWieringen, Ruth’s List Florida’s political director. Ruth’s List is currently engaged with over 94 local candidates statewide.
“In 2018, we proved that when women run, they win. In 2020, we’re demonstrating those victories were not a one-off, but part of a fundamental shift in our state’s leadership. Bring on November!” said Senator Arthenia Joyner, Ruth’s List Florida board chair.
About Ruth’s List Florida
Ruth’s List is Florida’s largest organization dedicated to recruiting, training, supporting and electing Democratic pro-choice women candidates to state and local office. Since 2008 we have had more than 135 victories, trained over 2100 women, and raised $5 million for our candidates. For more information on Ruth’s List, visit RuthsListFL.org.