Tampa state House Democrat Ed Narain announced on Thursday that he will give up his House District 61 seat to run for the state Senate 19 seat being vacated by a term-limited Arthenia Joyner later this year.
“From community service to political service, my guiding principle has been to focus on what’s best for Florida and fight to make a difference for all people,” Narain said in a statement. “It’s why I’ve been very involved in the community and why I ran for the state house. The state Senate is the place I can continue making a difference. This race will be about the future of our state, and who is best prepared to lead us there.”
Narain’s announcement comes a day before the Florida Legislature is scheduled to end their regular 2016 legislative session, and it comes right after he won praise for his successful shepherding of a bill that will give financial relief to the families of victims of the Dozier School of Boys.
The bill he sponsored will offer up to $7,500 refunds to families who need to rebury victims found in the unmarked graves. It will also create a task force to discuss setting up a memorial for the victims.
“I’m pleased that despite the very partisan agenda pushed in Tallahassee that I’ve been able to get good things done for Tampa Bay’s citizens,” he said.
Senate District 19 consists of mostly Hillsborough County and some parts of Pinellas. It’s a pure Democratic seat, so whoever wins the primary will likely advance to Tallahassee.
Betty Reed, who previously held Narain’s HD 61 seat, is currently a candidate for SD 19, as is Daryl Rouson, who is term-limited out of HD 70 seat. In his statement, Narain notes how he already has raised more money for the campaign than either Reed or Rouson.
Among potential candidates to run Narain’s seat in the House include Democratic Party activist Diane Hart.