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In 2016, Florida Dems Chose Party Over Gun Control

February 19, 2018 - 6:00am

In Florida Senate District 37, Miguel Diaz de la Portilla faced Jose Javier Rodriguez.

Miguel Diaz de la Portilla is a Republican and Jose Javier Rodriguez a Democrat.

I, a registered Democrat, chose to support Diaz de la Portilla.

Why? As the chair of the Florida Senate Judiciary Committee, Diaz de la Portilla single-handedly stopped open carry and campus carry from coming to Florida.

Jose Javier Rodriguez added to the count of Democrats in the Senate, but as for actually being able to DO anything about gun control, he was, and is, powerless.

I knew that then. I know that now. I wanted someone there who could stop the Greg Steubes of the Senate from trying to enact crazy NRA-backed gun bills.

In the wake of the Parkland school shootings, we are hearing calls from the left for Republicans to choose people over party.

We are hearing calls from the left for Republicans to stand up to the NRA.

Miguel Diaz de la Portilla did that, and yet the left didn’t want him supported by me, a black Democrat.

I didn’t listen to that, just like I don’t listen to anything else the left “tells” me. I check out the facts and make my own decisions!

Gun violence has ravaged black communities.

What happened in Parkland is horrific. What happens in parts of Miami, in Chicago, in Detroit, in Baltimore, is horrific.

Gun violence is horrific. This country needs gun control. Not just for the Parklands of the world. 

By the way, I lived in Parkland for a while. My daughter went to Riverglades Elementary School.

We, as Democrats, have to practice what we preach.

This country has to elect people who are going to protect communities from gun violence, even if those people aren’t from our respective parties.

Bullets don’t know which party a victim belongs to. Crazy people don’t know which party a victim belongs to.

Children killed in mass shootings don’t even belong to a party.

I don’t think Miguel Diaz de la Portilla is coming back to the elected official world again, but if he did, I’d support him again!

I’m for doing what helps people, not for what pleases a party.

We hope what is right and our political party align most of the time, but when they don’t, I’ll choose what’s right over party every time.

Leslie Wimes, a Sunshine State News columnist, is founder and president of Women on the Move and the Democratic African American Women Caucus, Follow Leslie on Twitter: @womenonthemove1

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