President Donald Trump’s election has given wave to a new group of Democratic activists who are interested in channeling their anger into running for office.
And in Broward, two of those activists appear poised to battle each other.
Two Fort Lauderdale residents who organized women’s marches protesting Trump’s inauguration will face off in a Democratic primary in Broward in 2018.
Emma Collum, director of Women’s March Florida who organized Floridians marching in Washington D.C., said she will file next week for House District 93, a seat now held by Republican George Moraitis who is term limited. Collum is a lawyer.
Stephanie Myers, who organized the Jan. 21 rally at downtown Miami’s Bayfront Park, filed to run on April 24. Myers works in public relations supporting a medical practice.
Both Collum and Myers live in Fort Lauderdale, but outside the district and said they will move to the district. Neither has run for public office in the past.
Collum said she doesn’t think it will be awkward to have two activists from women’s marches compete for the same seat.
“I think it's really exciting that so many people are excited to get out there and be active in our community, she said. “At the end, people need to get to know the candidates and make a heartfelt decision which one is going to the candidate to make what has been a predominantly Republican district into a Democratic one.”
Emily's List, the national group that backs pro-choice women running for office, has heard from more than 12,000 women who are interested in running in 2018, spokeswoman Alexandra De Luca said. That's a major increase compared to the 2016 cycle when Emily's List heard from less than 1,000 women. De Luca said competition between female candidates is a positive sign.
"The fact that we have so many women across the country raising their hand and coming forward -- 12,000 -- is a good problem to have," she said. "It's encouraging to have a dialogue among Democrats around issues that are important to women and families."
Two other Democrats filed earlier this year: Jonathon May, Nova Southeastern University director of student affairs and an Oakland Park resident and John McDonald, a freelance journalist and precinct committee man who lives in Pompano Beach. McDonald ran for House District 6 in 2010.
No Republicans have filed but Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca, a longtime district resident, said he is strongly considering a bid.
The district is one of the main targets for Broward Democrats in 2018. Voter registration numbers show about 36 percent are Republicans, 35 percent Democrats and 29 percent independents. Hillary Clinton narrowly lost the district.