When long-time Congressman Alcee Hastings passed away in early April, Democrats like State Senator Perry E. Thurston began to scramble to position themselves as potential successors to the former congressional stalwart’s now-open seat.
Shortly after senators ended their Wednesday floor session in the Florida Senate, Sen. Thurston spoke to The Floridian about his recently announced congressional candidacy in Florida’s 20th district and reminisced about his relationship with Rep. Hastings.
Thurston referred to Hastings as a “legend” and “the Dean of South Florida” and informed that he interned for Hastings back in 1984 when he attended the Univesity of Miami School of Law.
“My campaign has already kicked in, we will be absolutely taking it up a notch in two weeks.”- Sen. Perry Thurston
Thurston said that he never thought about running for Hasting’s seat because he believed Hastings “would be there,” but says that he “prepared” himself for the job with the “leadership” he had shown in the Florida House of Representatives and in the Senate, where he says he’s “in line to be the Senate Democratic Leader.”
“The residents of District 20 deserve to have a proven Democrat in Congress that will continue the fight for social and racial justice, income inequality, safer neighborhoods, strong public schools and access to healthcare. My record in the Florida Legislature shows I am ready to be the champion of District 20 and take our fight to the halls of Congress, so our community continues to be heard clearly,” Thurston campaign announcement.
The Broward Democrat also believes that his 30 years of trial experience and his experience as a legislator, specifically his effectiveness in negotiations, also prepared him to go to Congress.
With the Chauvin murder trial having ended with a guilty verdict this week, and because Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D) injected herself into the trial, it was only fitting that we ask Thurston his thoughts on the final verdict and of his potential colleague in Congress.
We asked him if the verdict was too harsh
“Absolutely, not. I don’t think they were too harsh at all. It’s a just verdict. Jurors did the right thing,” asserted Thurston.
Thurston then invoked the controversial HB 1 bill that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law this week, saying that DeSantis was following former President Donald Trump’s “advice about stopping the protest.”
“It points back a finger back at this governor who’s heeding President then-Trump’s advice about stopping the protests when there is protests all over the world based on that, he (Trump) calls out to the governors to say “you’ve got to dominate them, you can’t let them go in your streets and protest.” How about looking at what they are protesting about?” concluded Thurston.
Thurston said that Rep. Waters “gets excited” and often times spouts off her thoughts, but that sometimes her thoughts are “warranted.”
Thurston joins Rep. Bobby Dubose, Broward County Commissioners Barbara Sharief and Dale Holness, and former State Rep. Priscilla Taylor, in the growing Democratic primary race for Hasting’s congressional seat.
DeSantis has yet to announce a special election date.