Legislative Candidates

There are important “down ballot” races that we need to win in November. Please be sure to vote for candidates in all of the races listed on your ballot. These are the Marion County Democratic candidates running for office in the general election in November.

dana cottrell photo with flag background

Dana Cottrell, U.S. House of Representatives, District 11

Dana was inspired to run for Congress as a representative voice for women and the middle class. She has lived in Hernando County for the past 32 years. She has worked as a teacher for the past 28 years both in Hernando County and for the Department of Defense on military bases abroad in both South Korea and Germany. Dana received her B.A. and M.A. from the University of South Florida. She has chosen a career of public service and seeks to continue serving the constituents of District 11 as their representative. Her voting record will be one that commits to helping all with a focus on employment, wages, education, health care, the environment, social justice, equality, and veterans’ issues. Dana is a member of Moms Demand Action, Everytown for Gun Safety, the Women’s March, the Democratic Women’s Club of Citrus County, the Democratic Women’s Club of Hernando County, and the Hernando County Democratic Club. She was also a union rep for the teachers of Bitburg High School.

For more information about Dana and where she stands on the issues, visit her web page at dana2020.com.

Mamie “Dee” Melvin, Florida House of Representatives, District 33

Mamie “Dee” Melvin was born in North Carolina but grew up in South Carolina. Even though most know her as Dee, she will be on the ballot in November as Mamie “Dee” Melvin. Dee retired from the U.S. Air Force after 15 years of active duty and 17 years as a reservist. She met her husband, Ken Melvin, at her first duty station, and they have been married for 43 years. While serving in the Air Force, Dee went back to college and graduated from Bellevue University in Bellevue, Nebraska, with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration. Dee was never active in politics until after the 2016 election. In February 2017, she decided she had to do something. She attended her first meeting with The Villages Democratic Club, joined Indivisible, and has never looked back. Dee is running for Florida House, District 33 because she wants to be part of the team that leads Florida into a future that includes equality for all. She knows we are at a crossroads, and if we don’t make a change in state leadership, the state will remain stagnant.

For more information about Dee and where she stands on the issues, visit her web page at Votedeemelvin.com

adam christensen standing outside cross-armed

Adam Christensen, U.S. House of Representatives, District 3

Adam is a business owner and candidate for Congress to fill the vacant seat in Florida’s 3rd district. Born in Olathe, Kansas, Adam was raised in Palm Harbor, Florida, pre-recession before moving to Indiana. Following his graduation from high school, he attended and graduated from Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia as a 3-sport athlete with a degree in Biology. After college, Adam decided to move back to Florida and started his first company with $3,000 in his pocket. Two years later, he and his business partners started a second company in Gainesville, which they recently sold.

Having grown up in a deep red state, Adam saw first-hand what can happen to communities hit hardest by financial greed. Rising drug costs, the opioid epidemic, and the housing crises affected every part of the state. This experience helped him form the belief that systems that are designed to prey on the poor and middle class should not exist in a just or moral society, and that the greed of these systems is what has caused the majority of the issues and hurt that we have today in Central Florida.

Adam currently lives in Gainesville, FL, with his pomsky puppy Pummel. He is ready to be a champion for the working class as a member of Congress.

For more information about Adam and where he stands on the issues, visit his web page at forthemanynotjustme.com

barbara byram with neck scarf and glasses

Barbara Byram, Florida House of Representatives, District 22

A seasonal employee of the National Park Service, Barbara Byram has lived in Levy County for 14 years and been involved in electoral and political issues campaigns all her life. In 2011, she co-founded Citizens for an Engaged Electorate, a group dedicated to educating voters on the issues and giving them tools to participate in the shaping of legislation. Based in Levy and Marion counties, the group has worked on Medicare for All, Save the U.S. Postal Service, Move To Amend, Water and Land Conservation Amendment 1, Voting Rights Restoration Amendment 4, and many others.

Over the course of her working life, Barbara has been an employee, self-employed, and a small business owner. Outside of work, she has volunteered her time to a wide variety of nonprofit organizations, gaining knowledge and skills valuable in all walks of life.

With no incumbent running for Florida House District 22 this year, Barbara saw an opportunity to mount a campaign answering the people’s desire to be heard by legislators rather than ignored in favor of corporations and the good old boy system. Barbara has gained the backing of community organizations, many of which are working to get her elected. Additionally, her knowledge of the political process and keen grasp of the issues make her an excellent choice for the district.

For more information about Barbara and where she stands on the issues, visit her web page at barbarabyram.com.

cynthia dela rosa in dark blazer standing in front of white gazebo

Cynthia Dela Rosa, Florida House of Representatives, District 23

Cynthia Dela Rosa was born in Flint, Michigan, and moved to Ocala, Florida when she was 8 years old. After graduating high school, she attended the University of Florida, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology (Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience). She was a charter member of Gamma Phi Beta Eta Xi. While studying, she worked as a research assistant with the Behavior Analysis Research Clinic. She worked on studies that researched skill acquisition for children with autism spectrum disorder and related disabilities. Afterwards, she became a registered behavioral technician with Florida Autism Center (FAC), where she was able to implement those findings. After graduation, she transferred to the FAC in Ocala. 

Compelled by the urgency to protect the future of the children that she worked with, Cynthia began her candidacy for the Florida State House of Representatives for District 23. To educate herself on her community, she became involved in the Democratic Executive Committee, the Democratic Women’s Club of Florida (DWCF), The Bridges Project of Marion County, and other local groups. Additionally, to prepare for the political sphere, she has attended conferences and trainings held by the Florida Democratic Party, DWCF, and more.

For more information about Cynthia and where she stands on the issues, visit her web page at cynthiaforhouse.com.