ATLANTIC BEACH, FL – Today, the American Federation of Teachers endorsed three-time breast cancer survivor, founder of the charitable Donna Marathon and Foundation, and former television anchor Donna Deegan as the best candidate to represent Florida’s 4th Congressional District. The union represents 1.7 million educators, healthcare professionals and public employees across more than 3,000 locals.
“I am honored to stand with the American Federation of Teachers,” announced Deegan. “If elected to Congress, I will work with all my colleagues to properly invest in public education, make healthcare a reality for everyone, remove obstacles to a college education, and work to build an economy that respects workers.”
The announcement comes amid heightened concerns over health, safety, and the economic well-being of educators, students, families, and anyone who could transmit or fall ill from the highly transmissible COVID-19.
“Every American, including educators and parents, have had to make difficult decisions during this prolonged National Emergency. As our country navigates the greatest challenge we have faced in generations, Donna Deegan stands ready to lead,” said Terrie Brady, President of Duval Teachers United. “In these challenging times, we need honest, informed, and compassionate leaders with the courage to work together to advance serious solutions that will move our country toward a better future that includes a world-class education —our schools and our nation deserve nothing less. As a three-time breast cancer survivor, founder of a world-renowned foundation that has already financially helped nearly 14,000 families facing cancer, and award-winning journalist experienced in uncovering the truth in the face of uncertainty, Donna Deegan is well-suited for this moment. That is why the American Federation of Teachers proudly stands with Donna Deegan.”
“Working parents and educators have been put in an impossible position,” said Deegan. “Despite what he says, my opponent has done everything possible to make things harder for families and educators alike by consistently voting against common sense safety, financial, and childcare relief.”
Rutherford voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act on May 4, 2017, voted against the HEROES Act which included funding for virus mitigation in schools on May 15, 2020, and last month voted against two bills directed at childcare relief – Childcare is Essential Act and Childcare for Economic Recovery Act.
“I hear from teachers who don’t have soap for hand-washing, replacements for toxic sanitizer after recent recalls, and the necessary PPE to protect themselves and their students,” Deegan shared while also recognizing the difficult decisions parents are faced with. “Parents deserve better than wishful thinking from elected officials who have forced a false choice between their safety and a paycheck.
“This is not the time for partisan political games. We need leaders who care enough to respect that our children, teachers, parents, grandparents, and even the businesses who count on their employees showing up are not expendable. ”
The endorsement from the American Federation of Teachers follows the backing of the National Education Association.
Deegan is running to represent Florida’s 4th Congressional District. She is a fourth generation Jacksonville native, 25 year award winning journalist and broadcaster, 3 time breast cancer survivor, and founder of The Donna Marathon and Foundation aiding 13,500, and counting, underserved families facing cancer and funding ground breaking breast cancer research.
For Immediate Release
Date: August 26, 2020
Contact: Erica Connor, Campaign Manager