SAVE Dade Action PAC has released its 2012 primary endorsements. Here's the news release:
The 2012 Elections will be one of the most important in our community’s history. That’s why SAVE Dade has invested its efforts into a comprehensive endorsement process to ensure the best pro-equality candidates are selected. We received 30 questionnaires and hosted 13 hours of interviews with the assistance of nearly 50 volunteer hours to ensure that our process is one of the best and fairest in the county. Each candidate was judged based on their support of LGBT issues, viability, community support, and overall good for the community at large. Now the choice is yours, but be assured that voting for any and all of SAVE Dade’s endorsed candidates is a vote for equality.
STATE HOUSE 113
Florida is one of only four states in the country that has never elected an openly gay state legislator; this must end. We have a real and compelling chance to make history by electing David Richardson to the State House, District 113. Without a Republican challenger in the race for November, if David wins in August he wins the election. Experience in other states has shown that significant policy change on LGBT issues requires a seat at the table. The SAVE Dade Action PAC enthusiastically endorses David Richardson.
Mayor Gimenez has been supportive of local LGBT issues since he was elected as Commissioner. He sponsored and voted for the county’s 2008 Domestic Partnership Ordinance, which recognizes LGBT relationships for county employees. He stood up publicly against the passage of Florida’s so-called marriage amendment. Currently, the Mayor fully supports and is willing to work on behalf of SAVE Dade’s initiative to pass a transgender-inclusive Human Rights Ordinance at the county level. Mayor Carlos Gimenez has earned the support of the SAVE Dade Action PAC.
COUNTY COMMISSION DISTRICT 1
Commissioner Jordan has been a supporter of LGBT issues since she was elected. She supported the passage of the Domestic Partnership Ordinance in 2008 and is currently assisting with the passage of a transgender-inclusive Human Rights Ordinance. Commissioner Jordan has been a leader in the African-American community on LGBT issues and has revealed deep support for equality during visits with constituents. The SAVE Dade Action PAC endorses Commissioner Barbara Jordan.
COUNTY COMMISSION DISTRICT 3
Commissioner Edmonson is a long time supporter of LGBT issues. She supported the passage of the Domestic Partnership Ordinance in 2008 and is assisting with the passage of a transgender-inclusive Human Rights Ordinance. Commissioner Edmonson’s leadership has helped with the growing support of LGBT protections in the African American community. The SAVE Dade Action PAC endorses Commissioner Audrey Edmonson.
COUNTY COMMISSION DISTRICT 5
BRUNO BARREIRO & LUIS GARCIA
SAVE DADE MUST MAKE CO-ENDORSEMENTS WHEN TWO STRONG AND VIABLE ALLIES ARE RUNNING AS OPPONENTS. BOTH COMMISSIONER BARREIRO AND REPRESENTATIVE GARCIA HAVE FOUGHT FOR LGBT ISSUES AS PUBLIC OFFICIALS.
Commissioner Barreiro has sponsored and voted for every piece of LGBT legislation at the county level. And he is the lead sponsor on a transgender-inclusive Human Rights Ordinance. Commissioner Barreiro publicly opposed the passage of Florida’s so-called marriage amendment. Commissioner Barreiro was also one of our 2009 Champions of Equality recipients.
Representative Garcia has been supporting LGBT issues since he was elected to the Miami Beach Commission. He assisted with the passage of domestic partnership benefits and a city registry before the county offered one. SAVE Dade prefers not to make co-endorsements, but this is an unusual race, between two strong allies that requires an exception. SAVE Dade Action PAC issues a co-endorsement: Bruno Barreiro and Luis Garcia.
COUNTY COURT JUDGE GROUP 20
FLEUR JEANNINE LOBREE
Appointed to County Court in April 2011, Judge Lobree wants to keep her job and SAVE enthusiastically agrees. Judge Lobree’s passion for and dedication to the law is impressive, and her experience solidified our decision to endorse her. Judge Lobree has solid support from the legal community and has supported the LGBT community by attending social events hosted by SAVE Dade and Lambda Legal. The SAVE Dade Action PAC endorses Judge Fleur Jeannine Lobree.
COUNTY COURT JUDGE GROUP 24
GREER ELAINE WALLACE
Ms. Wallace is running against an incumbent, but we believe that she shows a greater understanding of LGBT issues. Ms. Wallace shared personal stories with SAVE Dade’s interview panel, explaining how her experience growing up in the segregated South created empathy for the challenges faced by our community. Her passion for representing children and under-served communities is impressive. Ms. Wallace is supported by some of the most respected attorneys and judges in the County, who uniformly believe that she will make an excellent County Court Judge. Greer Elaine Wallace has earned the enthusiastic support of the SAVE Dade Action PAC in this top-priority race.
SAVE REGRETS TO INFORM ITS SUPPORTERS THAT THE INCUMBENT, ANDREA WOLFSON, INITIALLY SOUGHT SAVE’S ENDORSEMENT BUT THEN WITHDREW HER REQUEST, EXPLAINING THAT SHE HAD DECIDED TO ACCEPT THE ENDORSEMENT OF ANOTHER ORGANIZATION, EVEN THOUGH THAT ORGANIZATION IS AVOWEDLY ANTI-LGBT. SAVE DADE IS DEEPLY DISAPPOINTED BY HER CHOICE.
COUNTY COURT JUDGE GROUP 27
With 15 years of experience and over 75 jury trials under her belt, SAVE Dade endorses Ivonne Cuesta. She is a Senior Supervising Attorney at the Office of the Public Defender for Miami-Dade County. Ivonne shared with our panelists what she’s done to help support the community when she was young, and how her experience in the Mariel Boatlift shaped her perspective of acceptance and her yearning for justice. Ivonne received the League of Prosecutors endorsement even though she is a Public Defender. Ivonne Cuesta earned the SAVE Dade Action PAC endorsement.
COUNTY COURT JUDGE GROUP 28
Running in an open seat, Tanya Brinkley is the most qualified attorney for this position. She has 16 years of experience as a litigator and comes from a diverse family. Panelists cited her temperament, intelligence, and character amongst her strengths. Tanya is supported by some of the community’s most respected attorneys and has spent eight years as a traffic magistrate – presiding over more than 500,000 citation cases and over 1,000 trials. Tanya Brinkley has earned the SAVE Dade Action PAC endorsement.
COUNTY COURT JUDGE GROUP 33
TERETHA LUNDY THOMAS
SAVE Dade endorses incumbent Judge Thomas for her proven leadership as a well-respected County Court Judge since 1992. She has always run unopposed until this year, when she drew a challenger who did not participate in our endorsement process. Her opponent does not compare in experience. Moreover, Judge Thomas is the only female African-American judge in the Miami-Dade County Courts. Judge Thomas has earned the SAVE Dade Action PAC endorsement.
COUNTY COURT JUDGE GROUP 40
DON S. COHN
SAVE Dade endorses incumbent Judge Don S. Cohn. Judge Cohn’s experience overshadows his opponent and he is well regarded in the community. Judge Cohn has earned our endorsement.
ELEVENTH CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE, GROUP 8
DAVID C. MILLER
SAVE Dade endorses incumbent Judge David C. Miller. Judge Miller participated in the endorsement process while his opponent did not. Judge Miller has been on the bench since 2000 and has earned the SAVE Dade Action PAC endorsement.
ELEVENTH CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE, GROUP 15
Robert Coppel has earned the SAVE Dade endorsement in this open seat because of his experience and distinguished legal career. Robert has 23 years of experience as an Assistant Public Defender and is well supported by Miami’s legal community. He has earned the endorsement of the League of Prosecutors as well as the SAVE Dade Action PAC Endorsement. His opponent did not participate in SAVE Dade’s endorsement process.
ELEVENTH CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE, GROUP 47
MARIA DE JESUS SANTOVENIA
Experience is the key reason why we are supporting Maria de Jesus Santovenia for this open seat. She has more trial and courtroom experience and is more qualified as a judge than her opponent. Both candidates participated in our endorsement process, but only one was ready to serve as the next Circuit Court Judge, earning Maria de Jesus Santovenia the SAVE Dade Action PAC endorsement.
ELEVENTH CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE, GROUP 49
TERESA M. POOLER
Teresa M. Pooler is one of the most qualified and supportive candidates we interviewed. Her longstanding support goes back to the early days of SAVE Dade, when she was a volunteer. Teresa is well respected in the legal and LGBT communities, while her opponent has been endorsed by an avowedly anti-LGBT organization. Teresa has over 30 years of experience in Miami-Dade courts in private and public practice. Her passion and qualifications earn her the SAVE Dade Action PAC endorsement.