The morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics — 3.1.22

Here’s the day that was — and will be — in Florida politics.

Two candidates are launching campaigns Tuesday for what are expected to be competitive seats in the state House.

Tiffany Hughes, a Democrat from Orlando, is entering the race for the new House District 39, which includes parts of Orange and Seminole counties.

Hughes is a first-time candidate who currently serves as president of the Orange County branch of the NAACP and is a member of the Orange County Community Development Advisory Board and the City of Orlando’s Certification Appeals Board. She and her husband manage staffing firm KBI Staffing Solutions.

“Central Floridians deserve an advocate in Tallahassee who will prioritize the issues that keep us up at night — economic opportunity, ensuring a strong public education system, access to affordable housing and health care, and more,” Hughes said.

Meanwhile, Tampa Democrat and small-business owner Jen McDonald filed to run in the new House District 65, which covers part of Hillsborough County and closely mirrors the current House District 60, held by third-term Republican Rep. Jackie Toledo.

McDonald is the founder and owner of Liberty Bella Enterprises and vice president at Merchant Insurance Solutions. She has also chaired the Hillsborough County Citizens Advisory Committee and the Hillsborough Community College Business Advisory Board.

“As an entrepreneur who founded and built my business right here in Tampa Bay, I’m all too aware of our need for a representative in Tallahassee who will deliver for our community. I will bring bold leadership and a fresh perspective to service on behalf of all District 65 residents,” McDonald said.

Ruth’s List, an organization that works to elect pro-choice Democratic women to public office, recruited both candidates.

“Ruth’s List Florida is excited to have played an integral role in actively recruiting these two incredible women candidates to run for newly created seats in the state House,” said Ruth’s List vice president Kayla vanWieringen. “In our entire history, we’ve never issued endorsements this early in non-incumbent legislative races, but we know our early support is critical to ensuring victory in November.

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