Miami, Fla. – State Sen. Jason Pizzo of Miami, who automatically won another term in political office in 2022 by running unopposed, has pledged more than $500,000 in campaign contributions to support fellow Democrats, including several Blacks locally and statewide, in their races.

Pizzo, the wealthy White former prosecutor who defeated former state Sen. Daphney Campbell, who’s Black, for her seat in 2018, said he also will be knocking on doors to campaign on colleagues’ behalf for the Aug. 23 primary and November general elections.

Among local Black incumbents are state Sen. Bobby Powell of West Palm Beach, state Reps. Marie Woodson and Christopher Benjamin of Miami Gardens, and political neophyte and an attorney Ashley Gantt from North Miami, who’s challenging political veteran James Bush III for District 109.


In endorsing Gantt, Pizzo took a verbal swipe at Bush, who’s been in public offical since 1992, for being the only Democrat who voted on Florida’s abortion ban after 15 weeks of pregnancy before a Tallashassee judge temporarily blocked before it became law for being unconstitutional, and Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Don’t Say Gay bill which more closely regulates schoolhouse discussions of gender identity and sexual orientation.

"Finally, let’s lose fake Democrats and elected folks like Gantt," Pizzo said via his Twitter account. Bush couldn’t be reached for comment.

With Republicans dominating Tallahassee, Pizzo said he’s hoping the 2022 midterm elections will mark a turning point for Democrats, who are seeking to oust Republican DeSantis, whose biggest challenger is former governor and U.S. Congressman Charlie Crist.


“Now is the time for all of us to do what we can to get real Democrats reelected to the Florida State Senate and House,” he said. “Today, in addition to walking and knocking on doors, I’m pledging $500,000 in contributions that will go towards targeted races throughout the state.”

Outside of South Florida, Pizzo is supporting other Black Democrats including state Sen. Darryl Rouson from Pinellas County, state Rep. Tracie Davis who is running for the Senate seeking to replace term-limited Audrey Gibson of Jacksonville, and state Reps. Michele Rayner and Fentrice Driskell, both from Hillsborough County.

In the Democratic primary, state Rep. Marie Woodson, who was first elected in 2020, faces political neophyte Dr. Imran Siddiqui for District 105, which covers Pembroke, Miramar and northern areas in Broward County.

Benjamin, an attorney seeking a second term, is being challenged by fellow Democrat Wancito Francius and political newcomer Pierre Prime, who has no party affiliation, for District 108.

Powell, who won the Democratic primary unopposed and is seeking a fourth term, is being challenged in November by Lake Worth Republican Eric Ankner, who also ran unopposed in the primary, for District 30.

State Sen. Darryl Rouson, who won the Democratic primary by default, faces Republican challenger Christina Paylan, from St. Petersburg, for District 16 in November. Davis’ District 5 primary opponents are Reggie Gaffney and Patrick Lee Cooper. The winner faces Jacksonville Republican Binod Kumar in November.

Rayner-Goolsby, an attorney, is being challenged by fellow Democrats Wengay Newton from St. Petersburg, and Riverview’s Jesse Philippe. The winner will face Republican Jeremy Brown, also from Riverveiw, in the fall.

Driskell, who also won the Democratic primary unchallenged, faces Tampa Republican Lisette Bonano in November.

Pizzo’s contributions to his fellow Democrats coming down the home stretch of the August Primary can help fund radio, TV and newspaper ads and political rallies in their districts.

So far, Driskell has raised $189,373 for her campaign to Bonano’s $3,267, Woodson raised $67,986 and Siddiqui hasn’t reported any campaign contributions, while Gannt slightly outraised Bush $53,561 to $47,150.

Powel has raised $86,076 in his race against Ankner who has reported only $400 in contributions. RaynerGoolsby has raised $47,476, while Newton has $29,830 and Philippe has $18,974 in the bank. Brown has raised $13,594.

Rouson has raised $100,800 and Paylan has not reported any campaign contributions. Davis has raised $140,830, Gaffrey has $141,230 and Kumar reported $100 for her campaign. Cooper reported zero campaign contributions.