Miami Democratic Rep. Jose Javier Rodriguez announced Monday that he would forego another term in the House to run for the newly redrawn Senate District 37 seat against Republican Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla.
“For the last four years, I’ve had the honor of fighting hard for my constituents on property tax and other reforms and leading the battle against special interests to ensure our tax dollars are spent on public education and infrastructure, rather than doled out to the well-connected few,” Rodriguez said. “There is a lot left to do in Tallahassee fighting for everyday people, and this new district is a unique opportunity to continue delivering for our communities, but in a larger forum and with a larger impact.”
District 37 is a majority Hispanic district and includes many of the same areas Rodriguez represents in his House seat, and the new district lines may make the seat competitive for Democrats even though Republican voters have a plurality in the district.
Barack Obama was able to carry the district over Mitt Romney by about 7 points in 2012, and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson beat Connie Mack IV by about 13 points in the same cycle.
Rodriguez brings about $67,000 in on-hand money to the Senate campaign, compared to about $17,000 on hand for Diaz de la Portilla, though those numbers could skyrocket over the coming months. Diaz de la Portilla also has about $100,000 on hand in his political committee, Foundation for Conservative Values.