Monica DePaul, a University of North Florida adjunct English professor, author of vampire novels, and transgender activist, hopes to unseat Republican Rep. John Rutherford to represent Florida’s 4th District.
DePaul, who volunteered for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign and was elected a pledged delegate for him last year. She advocated for the successful expansion of Jacksonville’s Human Rights Ordinance to protect LGBT people.
She is positioning herself as a progressive Democrat, skeptical of the influence wielded by big business in the Democratic Party.
“We have Democrats who are too worried about stepping on the toes of big business,” she said, as reported by Jenna Bourne at Action News Jax, “even though big business is more likely to support conservative Republicans. But then we have conservative Republicans who are, like, pretty much cartoon supervillains.”
On the Issues section of her campaign site, DePaul supports more funding for public education rather than “sinking public money into private and charter schools,” eliminating standardized tests, as well as “either free or low-cost” public colleges and universities. She advocates for a “single-payer Medicare-for-all” health care system.
As a transgender woman, she says she “opposes all ‘bathroom’ legislation.”
DePaul was the first transgender Florida delegate at the Democratic National Convention in 2016. There, she said she, “proudly participated in the Florida delegation’s historic protest of former DNC chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.”
DePaul is the author of the “Blood Arcana” series, described as a satire of the vampire genre. She released the first in the series, “Blood on Fire,” in 2012, and a sequel, “Blood on the Rocks,” in 2016.
Rutherford was elected to his first term last year with 70 percent of the vote. He serves on Homeland Security, Judiciary, and Veterans’ Affairs committees.
Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the district Safe Republican.