LGBTQ South Florida

South Florida LGBT-rights group SAVE endorses Charlie Crist, George Sheldon, Joe Garcia (updated with local recommendations)

SAVE has endorsed Democrats Charlie Crist, George Sheldon, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Frederica Wilson, Joe Garcia, Joe Geller, José Javier Rodríguez, Daisy Baez and Kionne McGhee in the November 2014 general election.
SAVE has endorsed Democrats Charlie Crist, George Sheldon, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Frederica Wilson, Joe Garcia, Joe Geller, José Javier Rodríguez, Daisy Baez and Kionne McGhee in the November 2014 general election. Via SAVE

LGBT-rights group SAVE has announced its fall endorsements for the November 2014 general election. Among the endorsed candidates (all Democrats) are Charlie Crist for Florida governor, George Sheldon for attorney general and Joe Garcia for U.S. Congress.

Here’s the SAVE news release:

Looking to build on a string of wins for equality thus far this year, SAVE Action PAC, the electoral arm of leading South Florida LGBT advocacy group SAVE (Safeguarding American Values for Everyone, formerly SAVE Dade) announced today its endorsements in a group of competitive races for statewide office and for federal and state congressional offices.

"Each of these candidates was hand-picked by a panel of community members and allies and has a long record in support of equality for all," said SAVE Executive Director Tony Lima. "As we saw in the August primary elections, support for LGBT people is a winning position, and I'm confident that by standing together with these great leaders we can score another victory on November 4th."

SAVE's endorsed candidates in the Tuesday, November 4, 2014 general election are as follows:

▪ Former Governor Charlie Crist for another term as Florida's governor

▪ George Sheldon for Attorney General

▪ Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz for Congress in Florida's 23rd District

▪ Representative Frederica Wilson for Congress in Florida's 24th District

▪ Representative Joe Garcia for Congress in Florida's 26th District

▪ Joe Geller for Representative of Florida's 100th State House District

▪ State Representative José Javier Rodríguez for Representative of Florida's 112th State House District

▪ Daisy Baez for Representative of Florida's 114th State House District

▪ Kionne McGhee for Representative of Florida's 117th State House District

“I am honored to have the support of SAVE," said Representative Joe Garcia in response to the announcement. "I believe equality, including marriage equality, is the only way to guarantee that everyone in our community is treated with dignity and respect."

"I am honored to receive this endorsement from SAVE. I strongly support my fellow Floridians who are fighting for full marriage and workplace equality," said Representative Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. "In particular I am ecstatic about the domino of recent lower court decisions regarding marriage equality because I believe in my heart of hearts that the Florida Supreme Court, when it rules, will realize that to deny same-sex couples the opportunity to marry is discrimination before the law, pure and simple. Love is love, and groups such as SAVE are helping advance the legal and moral arguments that prove the winds of progress are at our backs. I am proud to stand with SAVE at home, and stand up for our shared values in Congress."

SAVE also reiterated its positions on three ballot measures set to come before Florida voters on November 4:

▪ YES on Amendment 1 (Florida Water and Land Conservation Initiative): Because of local geography and ecology, South Florida is especially vulnerable to environmental damage. This initiative will help preserve the quality of life expected by South Florida's LGBT residents and beyond.

▪ YES on Amendment 2 (Florida Right to Medical Marijuana Initiative): Early research suggests medicinal potential for certain preparations of cannabis, including for stimulation of weight gain in patients exhibiting AIDS-related wasting syndrome. Given that members of the LGBT community -- particularly men who have sex with men -- continue to suffer disproportionately from the HIV/AIDS pandemic, and given that South Florida is one of the hardest-hit places in America by the disease, it is SAVE's position that legalization of medical marijuana in Florida is warranted for the purpose of conducting research into finding new HIV/AIDS treatments.

▪ NO on Amendment 3 (Florida Prospective Judicial Vacancies): This initiative affects the power of the Governor of Florida to pick judges when one governor is outgoing and another is incoming. Currently, incoming (new) governors have the power to pick certain Florida judges. Amendment 3 gives that power instead to outgoing governors. In practice, if incumbent Gov. Rick Scott loses re-election, Amendment 3, if passed, would give him the power to appoint judges in the vein of other anti-equality Scott appointees, even though a different candidate will have won.

The announcement of the endorsements is SAVE's latest move as part of its TOGETHER 2014 initiative to elect candidates and pass policies that are pro-equality. For more information on SAVE's TOGETHER 2014 effort, please visit savedade.org/2014.

Updated: SAVE has endorsed the following local candidates: Enid Weisman for Mayor of Aventura; Denise Landman for Aventura Commission, Seat 2; Marc E. Narotsky for Aventura Commission, Seat 6; Shelley Stanczyk for Mayor of Palmetto Bay; Karyn Cunningham for Palmetto Bay Village Council, Seat 1; Henry T. Clifford for Palmetto Bay Village Council, Seat 3; Claudia Cubillos for Mayor of El Portal; Adam Old for El Portal Village Council, Seat 1; Harold Mathis for El Portal Village Council, Seat 4; Peggy Bell for Mayor of Cutler Bay; Mary Ann Mixon for Cutler Bay Town Council, Seat 1; Connie Leon-Kreps for Mayor of North Bay Village; and Mario Garcia for North Bay Village Commission.

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