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Daisy Baez drops out of SD 40 race

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Rep. Daisy Baez is dropping her bid to replace Sen. Frank Artiles in the Florida Senate.

In a statement Friday, the Coral Gables Democrat cited her mother’s deteriorating health as the reason she decided to end her campaign.

“Just after announcing my intention to run for the Florida Senate, my mother’s health deteriorated and it became clear to me that spending time with her now is of utmost importance,” she said in a statement Friday. “As her daughter, caring for her is my number one priority. Therefore, I will not pursue a campaign for the Florida Senate.”

POLITICO Florida reported Friday morning that Baez was considering dropping out of the state Senate race. The news came just days after the Miami Herald reported that Baez doesn’t appear to live in the House district she represents. She also doesn’t live in Senate District 40.

Baez, a freshman House member, is one of three Democrats battling it out in the special primary to replace Artiles, who resigned earlier this year amid scandal. Annette Taddeo and Ana Rivas Logan have also filed to run for the seat.

Baez racked up big name endorsements — including from gubernatorial hopefuls Andrew Gillum and Gwen Graham — early on. But according to POLITICO Florida, pressure for Baez to quit has mounted in recent days after focus groups and Democratic polling showed she would come in thirds against Rivas Logan, a former state representative, and Taddeo, a perennial candidate who recently ran for the U.S. House in Florida’s 26th Congressional District.

Gov. Rick Scott announced earlier this month the dates for the special election to replace Artiles, who resigned in April after he made national news after he accosted two black colleagues at a private club in Tallahassee.

The special primary election is July 25, with a special general election on Sept. 26.

In her statement, Baez said she plans to spend the upcoming weeks with her family and “continue to use (her) voice in the Florida House to speak out clearly and forcefully to fight for better jobs, to protect our environment, to ensure we all have access to affordable health care, and to support our public schools.”

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