Teachers union throws support behind Sean Shaw in HD 61

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Florida’s largest teachers union is endorsing Democrat Sean Shaw in his bid for State House District 61.

The Florida Education Association represents nearly 150,000 teachers, education professionals and teaching students across the state. Shaw is running for the HD 61 seat now held by term-limited Rep. Betty Reed. The Tampa attorney faces Tatiana Denson, Sharon Carter and Ed Narain in the August Democratic primary.

“I’m a proud product of Florida public schools, and my parents were both public school kids,” Shaw said in a statement. “I am passionately committed to public education in Tampa and across Florida.”

“We know, without a shadow of a doubt, that there is nothing more important to our economy than improving our public schools,” he added. “And I am well aware that Gov. Scott’s first budget tried to cut a stunning $5 billion from our kids’ schools.

“Tampa families and teachers need a voice in Tallahassee they can count on to fight for our kids. They’ve got that in me.”

Sean Shaw is the son of Leander J. Shaw, Jr., the first African-American Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court. He attended Princeton University prior to earning his law degree from the University of Florida.

In 2008, Alex Sink, then Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, appointed Shaw as Florida Insurance Consumer Advocate, the organization that oversees fifteen state employees who protect Floridians on insurance matters. Shaw currently works at the Merlin Law Group and is the founder of Policyholders of Florida, a statewide coalition of consumer advocates.

HD 61 covers Seminole Heights, East Tampa, Ybor City and parts of West Tampa.

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 HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, 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 phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.