TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — With the midterm elections just a few months away, the Democratic Party gathered in downtown Tampa on Saturday, hoping to turn Florida blue.
At the Blue Gala, Chairman Manny Diaz and leading Democratic candidates Chief Val Demings, Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried, Congressman Charlie Crist and others made remarks in front of hundreds of people.
With the state currently controlled by Republicans, many people from the other side say want their voices to be heard.
“I call myself a low wage survivor, due to the fact that we do not make enough to take care of our bills,” Alex Harris said. “I worked seven days out of the week for seven months and I can’t take care of all my expenses.”
Harris lost a close friend three weeks ago. Three days later, his dad had a stroke. He said he hasn’t had the time to deal with either situation because his focus was trying to pay rent, which he said isn’t right. As a fast food worker, Harris says he is barley making it.
“When I first started working, I was told that if you work hard, you can achieve anything you want and I’ve been working hard my whole life and I’m still not achieving it,” Harris said.
Democrats discussed those concerns Saturday, among other issues, from healthcare, to gun violence and gas prices.
“Ron DeSantis doesn’t understand what working people deal with,” Congressman Charlie Crist, who is running for governor, said. “He doesn’t understand what you and your families have to go through.”
Their biggest message Saturday was to vote.
“If they’re gay or straight, if they’re black or white, if they’re tall or short,” Crist said. “You fight for everybody because we’re all children of God.”
Harris said he wants someone in office who will care about his struggle and stand with him.
“Remember people like me, people who aren’t just crying out in the open, but usually crying silent, seeing their family struggle, and themselves as well,” Harris said.