On Monday morning, supporters for State Senator and Democratic Candidate in the 9th Congressional District, Darren Soto, held a press conference at the Orange County Courthouse to speak out against a mail piece sent out by Soto’s primary opponent, former Congressional District Director Susannah Randolph that jabs Soto on his record on Women’s rights issues.
The “Women for Darren Soto” group that surrounded their candidate around the podium were specifically talking about a bullet point on one of the mailers that said he reduced the statue of limitations for rape victims.
The founder of the 43 Days initiative, Danielle Sullivan, a survivor of sexual assault that brought the issue to the state legislature has slammed the mailer. In a statement read at the press conference she says “I am disgusted that my initiative, that is so close to the heart has been used as fodder for a political smear campaign” she calls for an apology from Randolph calling the mailer a “completely untrue, and bold face lie.”
The Randolph campaign hasn’t back down from the mailer saying that Soto “watered down” the legislation from the 10 year version that unanimously passed in the house but was bogged down in the Senate, to the final 8 year version. They also maintain that Soto has an “abysmal” record on other Women’s rights issue.
Soto acknowledges that the check down in years frustrated everyone working to pass the legislation but the bi-partisan bill was still able to double the previous statue of limitations from what was in place at the time.
Soto and Randolph are currently running in the ultra-competitive Democratic primary in the 9th Congressional District to replace incumbent Alan Grayson, who is running for Senate. Other candidates include, Grayson’s wife, Dr. Dena Grayson, and Businesswoman Valleri Crabtree. The winner in the 9th District, will likely win the general election in the left leaning Orange Osceola seat.
“I am proud of my progressive record fighting for women’s rights and equality.” said Soto “In Congress, I’ll attempt to oppose any attempt to defund Planned Parenthood, and will work to strengthen women’s healthcare, including protecting a women’s right to choose. I’ll also fight to ensure women receive equal pay for equal work.”