Democratic candidate Ed Narain on Thursday snagged the gold ring in the House District 61 race: The endorsement of current Tampa state Rep. Betty Reed.
“I’m supporting Ed Narain to replace me because our concerns for the community are the same,” Reed said in a press release from Narain’s campaign.
“Ed has the community roots, the servant heart, and the fighting spirit to carry the torch for Tampa,” she added. Narain “is the best person to continue the work that will carry our district further and I proudly endorse him for state representative.”
Reed couldn’t be reached at her district or Tallahassee office on Thursday. Legislators convened this week in special session at the Capitol to redraw the state’s congressional districts.
Reed, first elected in 2006 and facing term limits, had not endorsed a successor until now. She also is a Democrat and a retired educator.
Narain called Reed’s endorsement “a tremendous boost to his campaign.”
“I have always been motivated to improve my community, and to have the support, prayers, and encouragement of Rep. Reed and others is a humbling honor,” he said. “These are big shoes to fill and I look forward to continuing the good work that has been started by so many in our community.”
Narain, an area manager for AT&T, is one of four Democrats who qualified to run, along with write-in candidate Nicole Santiago.
That keeps the Aug. 26 primary closed to just party voters, even though a write-in candidate has never won legislative office in Florida. No candidates from other parties are running.
Reed’s heavily Democratic district includes East Tampa, Seminole Heights, West Tampa and Ybor City.