FORT LAUDERDALE—Ken Keechl is angry. He’s also disappointed, disillusioned, and determined not to allow what he sees as flagrant abuse of power in the Florida state House of Representatives to go unchallenged.
“I’ve been asked for years to run against George Moraitis by the Democratic party and I always hesitated to do so—until I saw the last session of the Legislature. The positions taken by George Moraitis this year are horrific. I can’t just let this go unchallenged any longer.”
The former Broward County Commissioner and mayor announced that he’s running for the state house from District 93. “When I look at this Legislature, I see a group of politicians who have forgotten why they were elected in the first place. While they give handouts to the well connected, our public schools and local small businesses back home continue to be shortchanged. I’m proud of my service to Broward County and I’m running for the State House because I believe that our community deserves a Representative in tune with needs of the people he’s elected to serve.”
District 93 covers the area from Boca Raton to Hollywood in eastern Broward County, and has a major LGBT constituency. “Thanks to representatives like George Moraitis, we have transgenders that can’t go to public restrooms of their choice, while we have protections for pastors against gay people. And don’t get me started on why Moraitis thinks he has the right to tell women what they can or cannot do with their own bodies,” Keechl told the Agenda.
“I’m an environmentalist, and when I watched our Legislature vote in favor of fracking, I knew I just couldn’t let it happen.” Fracking is the controversial high-pressure pumping of large volumes of water, sand and chemicals into the ground to recover oil and gas deposits.
“My opponent has spent the last six years in Tallahassee voting for every piece of anti-woman and anti-LGBT legislation to cross his desk, to allow the dangerous practice of fracking, and to cut education funding by $1.3 billion, all the while denying the looming threat of climate change to our community. When I’m in Tallahassee, I will fight for the rights of every Floridian no matter who they love, their gender, or their ethnicity, to find responsible solutions to combat the threat of climate change and to ban fracking, and to provide our public schools with the resources our students and teachers need to give every child the excellent education they deserve. It’s time to take the power back from the special interests and put the people in charge in again.
“Whether we are talking about Broward County, the state of Florida or U.S. as a whole, people are desperate to end partisan contention and replace it with moderate leadership,” Keechl said. “It’s not easy to take on the incumbent representative, and I’m going to have to raise at least $500,000 to fight for this seat. But I’m going to do it, and I will win. I have no choice.”
Keechl, who’s been a lawyer for the past 30 years, has served his community as a member of the Individual Rights and Responsibilities Committee of the Florida Bar, where he focused on civil rights cases, and with Broward Lawyers Care, a non-profit that provides pro-bono legal services for citizens in need. After serving two terms as the President of the Dolphin Democrats, Ken successfully ran for the Broward County Commission, where he was appointed Vice-Mayor in 2008 and Mayor in 2009. He makes his home in Fort Lauderdale with his husband, Ted Adcock.