State Lawmaker Launches Bid to Take On Southerland

Posted November 17, 2011 at 3:08pm

Florida state Rep. Leonard Bembry (D) announced a bid for Congress today in Florida’s 2nd district. He becomes the fourth person to jump in the race to unseat freshman Rep. Steve Southerland (R), who won the Panhandle district with 54 percent of the vote in 2010.

In a statement, Bembry said, “Southerland has not delivered on the political promises he made in 2010 to create jobs, change Washington, DC, and bring practical solutions that will put Floridians back to work and tackle the tough challenges we face.”

The two-term state Representative, a farmer, will face attorney Alvin Peters and activist Jay Liles in the Democratic primary. Former GOP state Sen. Nancy Argenziano attempted to run as a Democrat but was thwarted by a Florida law that prohibits changing parties within a year of filing for an election. 

According to her Federal Election Commission filing, she is running as an Independent.

National Democrats see Southerland as vulnerable, but with the president very unpopular in the Sunshine State, the national climate may dim any Panhandle Democrat’s prospects.