July 28, 2020

ORLANDO, FL – Today, the Rainbow Democrats caucus have announced another round of endorsements for candidates seeking office locally and statewide in Orange County. 

Rainbow Democrats President Brandon Nelson issued the following statement on the Caucus’ endorsements:

“The Rainbow Democrats have voted to send Senator Victor Torres back to the State Senate alongside his colleague, Senator Linda Stewart. As a co-sponsor of the Florida Competitive Workforce Act, Senator Torres will continue to work alongside his colleagues in the Senate and the Florida House to ensure that Floridians are not discriminated against because of their sexual orientation or gender identity/expression in employment and public lodging. Senator Torres has also sponsored a bill in the Senate to repeal the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) law that was passed by Florida voters in 2008, which defined marriage as a union between a (cis) man and a (cis) woman. Because of his commitment to equality, justice, and fairness to all Floridians, especially LGBTQ+ Floridians, the Rainbow Democrats offer an emphatic endorsement of Senator Victor Torres’ re-election to the Florida State Senate. 

In the race for Florida House District 48 (which is being vacated by Representative Amy Mercado to run for Orange County Property Appraiser), the Rainbow Democrats have endorsed Samuel Vilchez Santiago. Having fled his home country of Venezuela with his family at the age of 13 because of the oppressive totalitarian government, Samuel understands the plight of everyday Floridians & marginalized communities. He will fight to give a voice to the voiceless and ensure that minorities will have representation in the legislature. As an ally to the LGBTQ+ community, Samuel is fully committed to ensuring that the fight for full equality continues and that no Floridian is discriminated against because of their sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. 

In the County Commission race, The Rainbow Democrats endorse Nicole Wilson for Orange County Commissioner District 1. We want to send a resounding message to the residents of district one that Nicole will work hard every day for her constituents and deliver transparent, honest leadership on the County Commission. Wilson’s opponent, Betsy VanderLey (the incumbent, who received an A rating from the NRA), kicked off her last campaign with a fundraiser at a shooting range around the corner from Pulse nightclub, the scene of the horrific attack that saw 49 lives extinguished at the hands of a domestic terrorist. VanderLey’s tone-deaf fundraiser is only one example of a lack of compassion towards the community she serves. As a progressive and a lifetime advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and the community, Nicole Wilson believes that conversion therapy should be banned and is committed to working to better the lives of Orange County’s residents.“

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