Arthenia Joyner endorses Sean Shaw in HD 61

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State House District 61 Democratic hopeful Sean Shaw received the endorsement this afternoon from longtime state legislator Sen. Arthenia Joyner.

Joyner served in the Florida House from 2000-2006 and has represented Tampa’s Senate District 19 since 2006.

Shaw faces Tatiana Denson, Sharon Carter and Ed Narain in the race to replace term-limited Rep. Betty Reed. HD 61 covers the neighborhoods of Seminole Heights, East Tampa, Ybor City and parts of West Tampa.

In a statement issued Thursday, Joyner said she is often asked to endorse candidates; but this time, the incoming Senate Minority Leader volunteered.

“I’ve known Sean Shaw his entire life,” she said. “I know who he is as a person. He is a man of faith. A family man.”

Shaw is a “committed and passionate community activist who genuinely cares about helping people,” she added. “Sean looks you in the eye, tells you the truth, and always does what he says he’s going to do. He’s one of us. He believes in us. I believe in him. He will fight for us.”

Shaw is son of Leander J. Shaw, Jr., the first African-American Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court. He served in 2008 as Florida Insurance Consumer Advocate, managing fifteen state employees to protect Floridians families and businesses on insurance matters. Shaw currently works at the Merlin Law Group, and is founder of the Policyholders of Florida, a consumer advocacy coalition.

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.