Paula Dockery, 26 Democratic legislators named “Champions of Florida’s Middle Class”

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Today, Florida Watch Action, Progress Florida and America Votes recognized 27 members of the Florida Legislature as “Champions of Florida’s Middle Class” for their unwavering support on behalf of Florida’s working families. During the 2012 legislative session, these 27 lawmakers voted 100% to protect and expand the middle class, and championed a range of issues from protecting jobs, to support for public schools, to ensuring fair elections and more.

“We applaud these lawmakers for defending Florida’s working families against constant attacks from Gov. Rick Scott and his allies whose extremist agenda is driven by corporate campaign donors rather than the needs of everyday Floridians,” said Progress Florida executive director Mark Ferrulo.

The 2012 “Champions of Florida’s Middle Class” can be found at and are (alphabetical):

  • Sen. Paula Dockery (R-Lakeland)
  • Sen. Arthenia L. Joyner (D-Tampa)
  • Sen. Nan H. Rich (D-Sunrise)
  • Sen. Maria Lorts Sachs (D-Delray)
  • Sen. Christopher L. “Chris” Smith (D-Oakland Park)
  • Rep. Joseph Abruzzo (D-Wellington)
  • Rep. Lori Berman (D-Delray Beach)
  • Rep. Mack Bernard (D-West Palm Beach)
  • Rep. Dwight Bullard (D-Cutler Bay)
  • Rep. Jeff Clemens (D-Lake Worth)
  • Rep. Janet Cruz (D-Tampa)
  • Rep. Evan Jenne (D-Fort Lauderdale)
  • Rep. Mia L. Jones (D-Jacksonville)
  • Rep. Martin “Marty” Kiar (D-Parkland)
  • Rep. Rick Kriseman (D-St. Petersburg)
  • Rep. Mark Pafford (D-West Palm Beach)
  • Rep. Steven M. “Steve” Perman (D-Boca Raton)
  • Rep. Scott Randolph (D-Orlando)
    • Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda (D-Tallahassee)
    • Rep. Franklin Sands (D-Plantation)
    • Rep. Ron Saunders (D-Tavernier)
    • Rep. Elaine Schwartz (D-Hollywood)
    • Rep. Irving “Irv” Slosberg (D-Boca Raton)
    • Rep. Cynthia Stafford (D-Miami)
    • Rep. Dwayne L. Taylor (D-Daytona Beach)
    • Rep. Perry Thurston, Jr. (D-Fort Lauderdale)
    • Rep. Barbara Watson (D-Miami Gardens)

“Floridians recognize that Pink Slip Rick Scott’s policies are completely out of step with most Floridians’ values – so extreme in fact that even members of his own party are pushing back,” said Susannah Randolph, executive director of Florida Watch Action.This year there were five more Middle Class Champions than in 2011 as lawmakers increasingly bucked the anti-middle class policies of Gov. Rick Scott.

Votes considered of import to Florida’s middle class families included opposing the job-killing Prison Privatization bill (SB 2038), stopping the anti-public school Parent Trigger bill (SB 1718/HB 1191), defeating attacks on women’s access to reproductive health (HB 277), opposing invasion of privacy Drug Testing (HB 1205/SB 1358) and the Wage Thief Protect Act (HB 609/SB 862), countering the legislature’s gerrymandered Redistricting Maps (SJR 1176, SB 1174), and voting against the reckless Anti-Middle Class Budget (HB 5001), among others.

“Gov. Rick Scott and his extremist allies in the Florida Legislature focused the entire session on giveaways to their special interest friends,” said America Votes executive director Josh Geise. “Today more than ever we must recognize which of our elected lawmakers are not in the hip pocket of corporate lobbyists, and are instead doing right by Florida’s working families.”

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.