Fifteen state Democrats named “Champions of Florida Middle Class”

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Fifteen Democratic Florida legislators were named “Champions of Florida’s Middle Class” Thursday by a non-profit progressive leaning organization, identifying the state lawmakers who have proven “unwavering support of Florida’s working families.”

In a statement, Progress Florida, along with the national advocacy group America Votes, announced the list of state legislators who voted to protect and expand the middle class in Florida “100% of the time” during the 2014 legislative session.

To be included in the list, legislators must have voted along liberal lines on the following issues: stopping political interference in women’s health care, protecting public schools, preventing burdensome restrictions on small businesses, and protecting both Florida’s land and water.

“These fifteen lawmakers deserve Floridians’ thanks for their unwavering support and leadership on the issues that matter most to middle class families,” said Mark Ferrulo Executive Director of Progress Florida. “Despite stacked odds, these legislators stood up at every turn to Gov. Rick Scott and his legislative allies’ corporate campaign cash driven agenda.”

The 2014 “Champions of Florida’s Middle Class”:

  • Rep. Lori Berman (Boynton Beach)
  • Rep. Karen Castor Dentel (Maitland)
  • Rep. Janet Cruz (Tampa)
  • Rep. Reggie Fullwood (Jacksonville)
  • Rep. Mark S. Pafford (West Palm Beach)
  • Rep. Ricardo Rangel (Kissimmee)
  • Rep. José Javier Rodríguez (Miami)
  • Rep. Joe Saunders (Orlando)
  • Rep. Elaine J. Schwartz (Hollywood)
  • Rep. Irving “Irv” Slosberg (Delray Beach)
  • Rep. Cynthia A. Stafford (Opa Locka)
  • Rep. Perry E. Thurston, Jr. (Fort Lauderdale)
  • Rep. Victor Manuel “Vic” Torres, Jr. (Orlando)
  • Rep. James “Jim” W. Waldman (Coconut Creek)
  • Rep. Clovis Watson, Jr. (Gainesville)

The complete list of names, as well as how they scored, is also at

“While many in the legislature chose to put partisan politics and corporate lobbyists ahead of what really matters this session, it’s nice to see that there are still lawmakers with integrity, who are willing to fight for working families,” said Josh Geise, Florida State Director of America Votes.

Among the votes on particular bills used to determine the 2014 Champions of Florida’s Middle Class: protecting Florida’s public school system (SB 850), in-state tuition for Florida Dreamers (HB 851), voting against political interference in women’s health care (HB 1047), protecting Florida’s springs (SB 1576), and defending small businesses (SB 1714).

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.