Apr 16, 2024 - Politics

Democrat touts DeSantis' praise in state House run

Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a press conference in Sanford, Florida.

Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a press conference in Sanford, Florida. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Ashley Brundage wants to become Florida's first transgender elected official — and she thinks a glowing letter from Gov. Ron DeSantis might help her get there.

Why it matters: It's a sign that Florida Democrats are looking outside their base to win over voters in a state that's turned increasingly red in recent cycles.

State of play: Brundage is running for the Democratic nomination to challenge incumbent Tampa Rep. Karen Gonzalez Pittman (R).

  • In 2022, she received a letter from DeSantis congratulating her on winning the "Spirit of the Community Award," Fox 13 reports.
  • She believes the letter, which lauds her "dedication and hard work," sets her apart from other Democrats and could help her win over independents.

What she's saying: "I think that it definitely opens the door for a more broader conversation across party lines," Brundage tells Fox 13.

Zoom in: Pittman's seat, House District 65, has a makeup of 39% Republicans, 30% Democrats, and 28% no party affiliation.

  • Brundage is running on addressing soaring insurance costs, protecting small businesses and abortion access, per Fox 13.
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