Miami – A political neophyte is challenging a veteran state lawmaker for a seat in the Florida House of Representatives, hoping her bid would encourage more Black women to run for political office.

Attorney and Miami native Ashley Gantt is facing incumbent James Bush III in the Democratic primary for MiamiDade County’s House District 109.

Bush, 67, has served in state government since 1992 as a state representative and state senator.

A Florida law placed term limits on state representatives and senators and Bush had to sit out on several occasions before he could run again.

Bush, who’s seeking a third term in the House, is a political heavyweight and is the clear favorite.

But Ruth’s List Florida, a political organization dedicated to supporting women candidates who support women’s rights especially abortion rights, attacked Bush’s voting record most recently for supporting the controversial 15-week abortion ban and the only Democrat to side with Gov. Ron DeSantis’ controversial Don’t Say Gay Bill.

Buoyed by the endorsement from Ruth’s List Florida, Gantt’s campaign has taken off and is ready for the uphill battle against Bush.

Kayla vanWieringen, vice president of political and programs at Ruth’s List Florida, said the organization “could not be more excited” to back Gantt in the race.

“We’re proud to be the first endorsement in her campaign,” vanWieringen’s said in a statement. “We’ve known from day one that she is the right candidate to take on this challenge and we’re committed to seeing her through victory in August.

“Ashley will be a true representative for her constituents and will work to solve real problems in the district: increasing access to affordable housing, improving public education and reforming our criminal justice system,” vanWieringen added.

Gantt, 36, told the South Florida Times she said was "very" excited and grateful for the endorsement from Ruth’s List Florida.

"I do believe in women being in leadership positions especially a Black woman or a woman of color," Gantt said. "Black women are part of the community and the community should be represented equally in federal, state and local governments."

Gantt said Bush being the only Democrat to vote for the Don’t Say Gay bill was a concern for the community which essentially sealed her decision to run.

"I decided to run because I felt a need for the community to be represented in Tallahassee," she said. "I want to be able to provide my community with the opportunity to grow and so I decided to put my hat in the ring in order to campaign for House District 109 and serve my community as a state representative."

Bush could not be reached for comments after repeated requests to interview him.

He told Florida Politics last week, he could not comment on his opponent or the endorsement or the organization’s characterization of his voting record.