Check out the newest Political Party with Adam Smith, where state Rep. Michele Rayner says she is very seriously looking at jumping into the crowded Democratic primary to succeed Charlie Crist in Congress.
“I’m seriously considering it. I have been talking to folks not only in the community, but nationally as well,” said Rayner, a civil right attorney and Clearwater native who was elected to the state House in November.
She said she is weighing where she can make the most difference, Washington or Tallahassee, and does not take lightly that she was elected to the legislature less than a year ago. Should she run for Congress, she knows she would take heat for jumping so quickly to another office.
“I’m aware that’s definitely a criticism that I may get. I will tell you that any office, whether it’s state representative, whether it’s city council, whether it’s congress, it’s not a lifetime achievement award,” Rayner said. “It’s about the work in the moment that we’re in now, and I think the moment that we’re in now across our state and across our nation calls for bold leadership.”
Already in the race are two St. Petersburg Democrats, State Rep. Ben Diamond, and former Obama administration official Eric Lynn. Conservative activist and media personality Anna Paulina Luna, the GOP nominee against Crist in 2020, is running again for the Republican nomination.
Click on the arrow above for the full conversation, to hear why Rayner thinks her historic candidacy could make her the strongest Democrat to hold the seat and how she fared in her first legislative session.