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Tue Nov 20, 2018, 06:56 PM

In Florida's Republican-majority Legislature

A Progressive Speaks


With a solid majority of Republicans gathered together Tuesday for an organizational session of the new, post-election Florida Legislature, a progressive grabbed a rare opportunity to take the floor.

He was state Rep. Kionne McGhee, a 40-year-old Miami-Dade County attorney and college adjunct professor who has served in the Legislature since 2012. On Tuesday, he officially took his position as Minority Leader for the House Democrats, and he used his platform on the House floor to talk about some of the issues that Democrats fought for in 2018, though none of them will likely come to fruition in 2019: tighter gun control, better teacher pay, fighting discrimination and providing health insurance for more of the state’s needy families.

McGhee told the 120 assembled lawmakers in the Florida House of Representatives how he grew up the hard way, that he was labeled as mentally retarded and dyslexic as a child, how he lost a brother and father to gun violence, and lived in the dark at times in a housing project because his family couldn’t afford the electricity bill.

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