Bob Graham endorses Ben Diamond for Florida House

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

One of the leading Democrats from one generation is endorsing a state House candidate expected to be one of the faces of the next generation of Democrats.

Former U.S. Senator and Governor Bob Graham announced Monday that he is backing Ben Diamond‘s campaign for House District 68.

“More than twenty years ago, Ben was an exemplary intern in my United States Senate office,” Graham stated in a release. “Since then, I have followed his career with great admiration. Ben is an outstanding attorney and citizen who has distinguished himself as a public servant and community leader.”

Graham’s endorsement of Diamond is no ordinary case of one Democrat endorsing another. There’s real history to this announcement.

“Ben’s candidacy has special meaning for me. Early in my life, I was very fortunate to have a mentor whose example and guidance inspired me to enter public service. That mentor was the late Congressman Dante Fascell — Ben’s grandfather. I am proud to see Ben follow in his grandfather’s footsteps,” said Graham.
Diamond declared his candidacy for the District 68 seat Monday after Dwight Dudley announced he was not seeking re-election.

Concurrent with announcing his campaign, Diamond released a long list of Democratic endorsers, including Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Allison Tant, House Democratic Leader-Designate Janet Cruz, former Governor Charlie Crist, Sink, as well as St Petersburg Councilmembers Jim KennedyKarl Nurse, and Darden Rice. 

Pinellas County Commissioners Charlie JusticeJanet Long, and Ken Welch, and Pinellas County Democratic Chair Susan McGrath have also endorsed Diamond.

Even with all of those backers, clearly it meant something special to Diamond to receive Graham’s support.

“I’m so honored to have the support of my mentor and friend Senator Bob Graham,” said Diamond. “I have long admired Senator Graham’s integrity and exemplary service to our state and nation.  My internship in his office played a decisive factor in my life, and inspired in me a strong desire to pursue public service.  I am truly humbled by his endorsement.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.