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AFL-CIO endorses Naze Sahebzamani in HD 59 race

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

The Florida AFL-CIO is taking sides in the competitive Democratic primary in the House District 59 race, backing Naze Sahebzamani in her race against Rena Frazier.

“I am proud and grateful for the support of the Florida AFL-CIO in my run for the Florida State House of Representative, District 59,” Sahebzamani said in a statement. “I promise to champion the working families of our state in the same manner unions champion American workers and give them the voice they have long been lacking in the Florida Legislature.”

The Florida AFL-CIO represents over 900,000 workers, retirees and their families in Florida.

Sahebzamani has been a teacher in Hillsborough County for over a decade, and currently is a social studies teacher at Robinson High School. She’s also an active member of the Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association, which certainly helped in getting the labor endorsement.

She’s running against Rena Upshaw-Frazier, an attorney and a first-time candidate as well.

The winner of the Aug. 30 primary will face Republican incumbent Ross Spano in November.

House District 59 encompasses the Brandon/Bloomingdale/Valrico Eastern Hillsborough area, and is considered a competitive seat, especially in this presidential election year. Spano narrowly defeated Democrat Gail Gottlieb in 2012.

The Democratic Party of Florida has put their chips behind Frazier, giving her financial assistance to hire a campaign aide. They also featured her with representative Ed Narain and Tampa City Council Chairman Mike Suarez in a press conference last weekend in Tampa, hours before Donald Trump addressed thousands at the Tampa Convention Center.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at

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