An influential progressive politician in Florida, State Representative Anna Eskamani (D-Orlando), has endorsed U.S. Rep Charlie Crist in his bid for the Democratic nomination for governor. Crist is in a campaign for the nomination with Florida’s current Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and Florida State Senator Annette Taddeo (D-Miami).

“At Team Anna, we’re ‘working for you, and fighting for us’ – and that’s exactly who Charlie Crist is and what he does,” said Eskamani.

Eskamani, who represents House District 47 which includes part of Orlando, also noted that Crist “has gone toe-to-toe w/some of the most powerful companies in FL & joined us in opposing the anti-rooftop solar bill this past legislative session too. He’s committed to criminal legal reform, abortion access, LGBTQ+ rights, public ed, the environment & more!”

In her video announcement, Eskamani said that “when he was governor of Florida, he pushed back against the Republican-dominated legislature by championing the needs of everyday people. He’s fought for consumer rights and has taken on some of the most influential corporations in the state, like investor-owned utilities and insurance companies. He even vetoed bad education bills and an anti-abortion bill, while at the same time, expanded the right to vote and access to the polls.”

“I trust Charlie to fight for our collective rights and to solve problems, like the affordable housing crisis and climate change,” Eskamani said. “I trust Charlie to champion the needs of our most vulnerable community members, and to work with the best people to get it done. I did not make this decision lightly – but as Democrats we need to unite and stay focused on victory in November. Charlie is the best candidate right now to bring us together and to help build a more prosperous Florida for all.”

Her endorsement will help Crist rebut the frequent attacks by Fried related to Crist’s positions on major issues when he was a Republican governor. Fried has repeatedly pointed out that Crist’s has flip-flopped on taxes, guns, and abortion.

In response to the endorsement, Crist said that “Eskamani is a true fighter and community leader, and I am proud to earn her support in our campaign’s mission to restore justice and compassion to Florida. … I’m running for governor because I love Florida too much to watch as this governor mounts culture war after culture war to hurt and divide us. Together, our grassroots movement will defeat Ron DeSantis and bring the sunshine back to the Sunshine State.”

Eskamani, who worked as a senior director for Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida, is an outspoken critic of Governor DeSantis and Republicans. She recently blamed “pro-life” politicians for the mass shooting in Texas and labeled supporters of the Parental Rights in Education bill as homophobic.

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Steve Stewart is a senior contributor at The Florida Capital Star. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Anna Eskamani” by Anna Eskamani.