Rep. David Richardson named Florda House Democratic Floor Leader, becomes first openly gay lawmaker to serve in leadership

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David Richardson will become the first openly gay Representative in Florida history to take a leadership role in the state Legislature.

In a joint announcement Monday morning, House Democratic Leader Mark Pafford and Leader pro tempore Mia Jones announced Richardson’s selection as Democratic Floor Leader for the upcoming 2015 Session.

“David is an important part of my leadership team,” Pafford said. “I’ve leaned on his experience and knowledge so much already and I know all of the members of the Democratic Caucus will benefit from his leadership and talents. I’m proud to have David as part of a talented and determined team.”

On August 14, 2012, the Miami Beach Democrat became the first openly gay member ever elected to the Florida Legislature, and remains the only one currently serving in Tallahassee. He was recently re-elected to House District 113 for a second two-year term.

For more than 30 years, Richardson served as a licensed CPA, beginning his career in the Pentagon as an auditor.

As Floor Leader, Richardson will be the chief contact between Pafford and the Office of the Speaker. He will also serve as ranking member of the House Rules, Calendar & Ethics Committee working on daily schedules of action for the House. In the coming term, Richardson will play a vital role in the House Democratic Caucus by managing, in combination with Republican leaders, floor debates on bills and amendments.

Richardson said he was honored to become one of Pafford’s chief lieutenants for the 2014-16 legislative term.

“I look forward to serving alongside Leader Pafford and the other members of the leadership team,” he said. “I did not run for office to make history but, instead, to make a difference.”

As part of the LGBT community, Richardson said his sexual orientation was “not in any way” a factor determining qualifications for elected office.

“I am proud to represent all of the citizens of District 113, including the LGBT community,” he added.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, 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.