Jesse Jackson endorses 25-year-old progressive in race to replace Demings
Florida congressional candidate Maxwell Frost on Friday received a key endorsement from the Rev. Jesse Jackson, marking another big name backing the Gen Z gun control activist.
“It’s time that we pass the baton to the new generation of Civil rights leaders like Maxwell who are fighting for the future that we all deserve,” Jackson said in a statement to The Hill.
“He played a major role in getting voter rights restored to 1.6 million Floridians and in the fight to end gun violence at March for Our Lives where he led thousands of young people across the country in the effort to pass gun reform legislation,” he continued. “Maxwell is what we need in Congress and I’m going to do everything I can to help him win.”
The Hill was the first national outlet to report on the endorsement.
Jackson, a veteran civil rights leader, has been involved in politics for decades. He was a Democratic presidential candidate in 1984 and 1988 and served as the shadow senator for the District of Columbia in the 1990s. In 2020, he served as a campaign adviser to Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) presidential campaign.
Frost, 25, is running in the Democratic primary in Florida’s 10th Congressional District, which is located in the greater Orlando area. Rep. Val Demings (D) currently represents the district but is running for Senate in November.
Jackson is the latest high-profile figure to put their support behind Frost. In May, Frost received endorsements from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Congressional Progressive Caucus Chairwoman Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), former NAACP President Ben Jealous and labor and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta.
Frost has also received the backing of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’s campaign arm, the Communication Workers of America and the League of Conservation Voters.
As of May, Frost had raised nearly a million dollars, beating out his closest competitor by a 2-to-1 margin at this point in the campaign.
The district is considered solidly Democratic, but Frost will face seven other primary opponents in the Aug. 23 primary, including state Sen. Randolph Bracy (D), attorney Natalie Jackson and the Rev. Terence Gray.
Republicans running for the district include retired Army Col. Cal Wimbish and nonprofit executive Willie Montague.