Meet Michele

Michele Rayner made history in Florida — and she’s just getting started.

Civil rights and social justice attorney Michele Rayner made history in 2020 when she was elected as the first openly queer Black member of the Florida legislature and immediately established herself as one of the strongest advocates for underserved communities. Now, she’s ready to do more for her constituents by bringing their fight to Washington.

Michele was raised by a family of changemakers in Pinellas County. Her parents both integrated the University of South Florida in the early 1960s, with her mother going on to become one of the first Black social workers in St. Petersburg and her father successfully putting himself through engineering school while working in a warehouse. Her parents established themselves as community leaders and set an example for Michele with their dedication to service.

After law school, Michele joined the Hillsborough County Public Defender’s office, a position she was drawn to because she felt it was where she could do the most good for the most vulnerable in her community. While serving as a public defender, she learned the importance of truly listening to and steadfastly advocating for clients who have limited agency.

Michele was called to ensure justice again when she became an attorney for Markeis McGlockton’s family, working alongside civil rights attorney Ben Crump. Markeis was shot and killed in an altercation in a Clearwater parking lot, reigniting the debate over Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law 6 years after the death of Trayvon Martin. During the 2019 trial, the killer was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to 20 years in prison. The experience made it clear to Michele that running for the legislature could help her do more to fight unjust laws like Stand Your Ground and prevent future tragedies from occurring.

Growing up, Michele’s father always told her: “Help others, do the right thing and most of all, always keep your head up high.” To this day, Michele keeps her head up and will continue to do so as a leader for her constituents, ensuring an equitable recovery from COVID, protecting voting rights, and demanding real justice for underserved communities in Congress.

Michele currently lives in St. Petersburg with her wife Bianca and their dogs.

Show Your Support

Michele is running a grassroots, people-powered campaign. Make a contribution to her campaign today! If you’ve saved your payment information with ActBlue Express, your donation will go through immediately.

If you’ve saved your payment information with ActBlue Express, your donation will go through immediately.

Representative Reed was a wonderful person and public servant. I’m sorry to hear of her passing. Please see my full statement. ...

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Join us across the state this Saturday to get out the vote! ...

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I’m going to tell my kids that their mama was a part of the real life Avengers.

Proud to serve with @shevrinjones and @carlosgsmith.
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Join us for the last stop of the abortion rights tour before the next special legislative session! Continue to make your voice heard and protect reproductive rights in Florida.
Register at bit.ly/ARtour-STP
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May 17th was chosen for #IDAHOBIT to commemorate the World Health Organization’s decision in 1990 to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder. We have come so far since then, but the work is far from over especially here in Florida. ...

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Thank you for all the love you have shown me, my wife, and my team today! I am running for re-election to the Florida House and would be honored to have your continued support in this next phase. Our contribution link is now live and you can chip in here: https://buff.ly/39oUX9K

#RunWithRayner
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I wanted to share this important news with you. I'm suspending my campaign for Congress and will be running for re-election to the Florida House and hope you will #RunWithRayner once again and join in support. While this campaign is coming to a halt, our work is just beginning. ...

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