Democrats find candidates to run in all seven Miami-Dade state House races

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Miami-Dade Democrats are telling the local GOP “no more free rides.”

On Tuesday, the Miami-Dade Democratic Party will do something unprecedented; they will file – as a group — challenges to every member of the Miami-Dade County state House GOP delegation.

“It is time that the Republicans get a clear message: No more free rides,” said Miami-Dade Democratic Party chair Annette Taddeo-Goldstein. “After the catastrophic failure of Republican legislators to put Florida’s people first this year, voters deserve a Democratic choice on the ballot.

“Many of these incumbents have never even faced a challenger before. Not anymore.”

Taddeo-Goldstein will join state Sen. Dwight Bullard on Tuesday in Miami’s Little Havana to introduce the Democratic House candidates filing to run in each of the seven districts currently without a challenger.

In a statement, Taddeo-Goldstein noted that the GOP-controlled state legislature ended “yet another failed session” without addressing any of the “defining problems” facing Floridians, including Medicaid expansion, raising the minimum wage, and adequately funding our public education system.

As a result, she said over one million Floridians would continue to suffer from lack of health insurance, those who otherwise would be covered under the federal expansion.

In addition, Taddeo-Goldstein pointed out the 1.2 million Floridians who are struggling to make ends meet working minimum wage jobs. She decried Miami-Dade Republican state Rep. Carlos Trujillo, chair of the House Economic Development & Tourism committee, for refusing to debate over legislation to raise the wage.

The candidates filing on Tuesday:

  • Mariano Corcilli is an attorney, former criminal prosecutor, and veterans’ advocate who served his country as a Sergeant in the United States Marines Corps. Corcilli will face Republicans Alberto Amador, Alexander Anthony Bryan Avila for the open seat in House District 111, vacated by term-limited Rep. Eduardo “Eddy” Gonzalez.
  • Juan Cuba is executive director of the Miami-Dade Democratic Party and a former White House appointee and Obama field director responsible for organizing the ground game in Miami-Dade and surrounding counties. Cuba faces incumbent Rep. Jose Felix Diaz in House District 116.
  • Kristopher Decossard is a Miami native, proud FIU alum, and Army veteran raised by a single mother who plans to continue serving his country in public office. Decossard will face incumbent Rep. Michael Bileca in House District 115.
  • Nelson Milian is a Cuban-American tech entrepreneur from Hialeah and founder of a youth summer camp focusing on the intersection of technology and the arts. Milan will be running in House District 110 against incumbent Rep. Jose Oliva
  • Carlos Pereira is a community organizer and president of the Venezuelan-American Democratic Club. He will face Rep. Carlos Trujillo in House District 105.
  • Omar Rivero is a Cornell graduate and digital entrepreneur who built an online organizing community of over 300,000 progressive political activists. He will go up against Rep. Frank Artiles in House District 118.
  • Milagro Ruiz is a Honduran-American schoolteacher of nearly 20 years, as well as a Miami-Dade College and St. Thomas University graduate. Ruiz will face incumbent Rep. Jeanette Nunez in House District 119.

“We know this will be an uphill battle, but it’s a necessary one,” said Cuba. “We couldn’t be more excited to offer voters of Miami-Dade a better choice than the status quo — and to hold the Republican incumbents accountable for their lack of leadership on issues important to their constituents.”


Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.