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Rep. Ben Diamond announces campaign for U.S. Congress

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State Representative Ben State Rep. Ben Diamond announced his bid for U.S. Congress Monday at the USF St. Pete campus. Photo by Joe Opaleski.

State Rep. Ben Diamond announced his bid for U.S. Congress Monday, during a press conference at the University of South Florida’s St. Petersburg campus.

The 42-year-old Pinellas native is currently serving in the Florida House of Representatives, but will seek out the state’s seat for Congressional District 13 left vacant by Charlie Crist, who declared his third run for Governor of Florida in early May. 

Diamond said his priority in Congress would be to bring politics back to a time when “people had different principles but shared the same facts.”

A Democrat, Diamond has been vocal about his opposition to the Florida Republican Party. Most recently, the representative took out an opinion article in the Tampa Bay Times, calling out Florida Republicans for passing bills “that too often appealed to their most extreme supporters rather than mainstream Floridians.”

Eric Lynn, a former national security advisor during the Obama administration, also announced he would be running for Crist’s seat in Congress as a Democrat. Anna Paulina Luna, a veteran and former opponent to Charlie Crist, plans to run as a Republican. 

Diamond is an attorney holding degrees from Yale and the University of Florida School of Law. He was editor in chief of the Florida Law Review, and is a member of Florida Blue Key, a student leadership honorary. He was elected to the Florida House of Representatives first in 2016, and again in 2020. 

Diamond has sponsored bills that ban the sale of assault weapons and large-capacity magazines, as well as bills providing tax breaks for affordable housing developers, according to Ballotpedia.

Diamond was especially vocal about supporting climate resiliency during his campaign announcement, listing “protection for our beaches” as one of his main priorities.

Several local leaders joined Diamond to show their support, including Pinellas County Commissioners Pat Gerard and Janet C. Long, and St. Pete City Council Member Gina Driscoll. 

The local politician’s bid will have “Great implications for Pinellas County and the City of St. Petersburg,” Driscoll said.

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