Florida House Democratic Leader Mark Pafford announced his endorsement of Susannah Randolph for the 9th Congressional District race on Monday morning, citing the former district director’s work protecting the environment as a key factor

“Susannah started her career fighting against offshore drilling and protecting Florida’s wildlife like manatees and panthers,”  Pafford said in a prepared statement “We need her in Congress to keep up that fight. Susannah has spent many years fighting for our environment, and she will do the same in Congress; tackling climate change, protecting Florida’s Everglades, and keeping our shores free from oil and gas rigs,”

Randolph also pledges to stop hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” in the state. She released the endorsement just hours before one of her main district 9 primary challengers, Orlando State Sen. Darren Soto is set to reintroduce his fracking ban legislation at a press conference Monday afternoon.

She had this to say about Pafford’s support: “Rep. Pafford has not only has led the fight for environmental protection, he’s done it in a way that ensures there’s a healthy middle class with time to enjoy our beautiful beaches, springs and wildlife. I’m honored to stand next to Mark in protecting Florida’s treasures.”

Other challengers in the 9th Congressional District race to replace incumbent Alan Grayson who is running for U.S. Senate, include former State Rep. Ricardo Rangel; Dr. Dena Minning, who has romantic ties to Grayson; and Valleri Crabtree on the Democratic side.

Republicans running at this point include only Wayne Liebnitzsky. However, Kissimmee Vice-Mayor Wanda Rentas has voiced intentions to file.

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