St. Petersburg, FL – The list of leaders supporting State Representative Ben Diamond (D-St. Petersburg) in his race for Congress in Florida’s 13th District continues to grow. Today, four more Pinellas County elected officials announced their support for Diamond—Dunedin Mayor Julie Ward Bujalski, Dunedin Vice Mayor Deborah Kynes, and Dunedin City Commissioners Moe Freaney and Jeff Gow.
“I first met Ben when we served together on the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority Board of Directors and have closely followed his rise as a collaborative and effective leader in our community,” said Mayor Julie Ward Bujalski. “He understands that our communities are stronger when state and federal leaders work with local governments to solve the complex challenges our residents are facing. A strong advocate for home rule, land and water conservation, and economic policies that put our community first, I know Ben will ensure our voices are heard in Washington.”
“As a member of the Florida House, Ben Diamond has strived to be an effective advocate, not just for his district, but for all Pinellas residents,” added Vice Mayor Deborah Kynes. “He understands that the government closest to the people serves the people best and has consistently fought to preserve the powers of local government. As a member of Congress, I know he will work collaboratively with local leaders to build resilient infrastructure, develop innovative transportation solutions, and address the everyday challenges facing all of Pinellas County’s unique communities.”
“Pinellas County residents deserve a representative in Congress that can set aside partisanship and find common-sense solutions to the everyday challenges facing our communities,” said Commissioner Moe Freaney. “Ben Diamond has a proven track record of working with local leaders, independent thinking, and leading with integrity. I’m confident that he will be an outstanding advocate in Washington for our neighbors in Dunedin and all across Pinellas County.”
“Ben recognizes that environmental resiliency, transportation, and climate change are big issues for Dunedin and Pinellas County,” added Commissioner Jeff Gow. “As a state legislator, he has worked hard to find community-driven solutions to these challenges while preserving the powers of local government. In Congress, I know Ben will work closely with local leaders to build a brighter future for our city and county.”
Diamond, a Democrat, is running to succeed Congressman Charlie Crist in District 13, which includes St. Petersburg, Clearwater, and most of Pinellas County. The race for FL-13 is expected to be one of the most competitive in the state, as the district is a top target of national campaign committees. Draft redistricting proposals released by the Florida Legislature expand the district to include parts of northern Pinellas County.
Since announcing his campaign for Congress, Diamond has generated incredible momentum. He has outraised all candidates in the race and earned the endorsements of former Mayor of Tampa Bob Buckhorn, former Congressman Jim Davis, former Florida CFO Alex Sink, and former Democratic Attorney General nominee Sean Shaw along with Pinellas County Commissioners Janet C. Long and Pat Gerard; St. Petersburg City Council members Amy Foster, Gina Driscoll and Brandi Gabbard; Pinellas County School Board member Nicole Carr, Indian Rocks Beach Mayor Cookie Kennedy, Gulfport Mayor Sam Henderson, St. Pete Beach Mayor Al Johnson, Safety Harbor Mayor Joe Ayoub, Largo City Commissioner Jamie Robinson, Gulfport City Council member Michael Fridovich and Pinellas Park City Council member Patti Reed.
A Pinellas County native, Diamond pledges to seek common sense solutions in Congress to the challenges he has focused on in the Florida Legislature. Those include climate change and the environment, criminal justice reforms to ensure everyone is treated equally regardless of race or ethnicity, and health care that is accessible and affordable. Diamond, 42, is a lawyer who served as general counsel to former Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink. He was first elected to the Florida House in 2016 and has been re-elected twice. He and his wife, Christina, live in St. Petersburg with their three children.