Sun | Jan 23, 2022

Second-generation Jamaican wins Florida House seat

Published:Saturday | January 15, 2022 | 12:06 AMLester Hinds/Gleaner Writer

Daryl Campbell, whose parents are Jamaican, is the newest member of the Florida State House of Representatives.

Campbell emerged victorious in Tuesday’s special election held to fill the seat formerly held by Bobby DuBose. DuBose had given up the seat to run in the special congressional election to fill the vacant seat.

Just over 12, 400 voted in the election or nine per cent of the eligible voters on the voters’ roll for the House District 94 seat. Of that, Campbell received 40 per cent of the vote in a four-person field, or just over 4, 900 votes.

His nearest challenger was Josephus Eggelletion, who got 29 per cent of the votes, polling just over 3, 600 votes.

The primary election was triggered by the death of long-time congressman Alcee Hastings last April. DuBose and two other state lawmakers resigned their seats to run in the congressional primary election and lost.

Campbell, who is a behavioural therapist and social worker by profession, also served as legislative aide to DuBose before winning the seat.

He told The Gleaner that he got into politics in 2016 because he was concerned about policies that were being implemented that would affect the clients with whom he worked.

“Everything is coming full circle. I am enjoying every moment of it thus far,” he said.

Campbell will serve the remainder of DuBose’s term, which ends in August. He will then face an election. If he wins, he will serve a full two-year term in the Florida-state House.

However, Campbell does not know when he will take his seat in the Florida legislature, as the Florida Elections Commission will meet on January 25 to certify his victory.

Votes from military overseas voters could come in during the next 10 days but Joe Scott, the Broward County supervisor, has called for Campbell to be seated saying that the outstanding voters were not enough to change the outcome of the victory.

CHAIN OF EVENTS

“The speaker should allow the elected representative to serve,” Scott wrote in an email.

House Democratic co-leader Evan Jenne has decried the whole chain of events.

“There are going to be a whole lot of people in Broward and Palm Beach counties who effectively have no representation during the pandemic,” said Jenne.

He said that the problem has arisen because the governor has scheduled the elections months later than they are due.

Meanwhile, Jamaica’s Consul General to Miami Oliver Mair, has congratulated Campbell on his victory.

“Here is another Jamaican climbing the political ladder in South Florida and giving voice to the peoples of the Caribbean who reside in this area,” said Mair.

He called on Campbell to be the best representative that he can be.

House District 94 covers parts of Fort Lauderdale, Plantation and Wilton Manors. The boundaries could change, however, following the redistricting process to be undertaken this year.

editorial@gleanerjm.com