Democrat Scott Fuhrman relaunches challenge to Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in '18 - Florida Politics

Democrat Scott Fuhrman relaunches challenge to Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in ’18

Democrat Scott Fuhrman intends once again to run against longtime Miami Republican Illeana Ros-Lehtinen in Florida’s 27th Congressional District in 2018.

“I will be the voice for families across Miami-Dade who are united in saying that the time has come for change in District 27,” Fuhrman said in a statement issued Monday. “I am running for Congress because when it comes to standing up for the needs of our community and speaking truth to power, I have proven that I will never back down from a fight that is worth fighting.”

The 35-year-old South Miami native was a political novice before challenging Ros-Lehtinen in the 2016 campaign, where he ultimately lost by 10 points, 55-45 percent. Nevertheless, it was the most impressive showing against the 28-year GOP incumbent in a number of years.

Fuhrman is president of Florida Bottling Company, which has been selling fruit and vegetable juices under the brand Lakewood Organics since 1956.

“I’ve listened to heart-wrenching stories from families across our community who are desperate to see a change in Washington, D.C. I have decided to resume this fight because many of our neighbors are living in fear, and a record number worry that their government is looking out more for well-connected insiders rather than for families like theirs,” Furhman said.

“Meanwhile, my opponent, a longtime incumbent who has lost touch with the needs of her constituents, has shown again and again that she would rather side with D.C. insiders and party leaders over restoring ethics to our nation’s capital,” Furhman adds. “Her recent attempts to moderate her positions to align with our changing district smack of desperation and political expediency.”

Ros-Lehtinen is a socially moderate Republican who opposed the recently unveiled GOP House health care proposal, saying too many of her constituents would lose their insurance and there will be fewer funds to help the poor and elderly.

In his statement, Fuhrman also took a shot at Ros-Lehtinen for her vote to repeal ethics reform legislation, an embarrassing vote that the GOP ultimately had to walk back. He also chides her for failing to challenge Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez‘s order for jails to comply with federal immigration guidelines.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has listed Florida’s CD 27 as one of four races they’re targeting in Florida in 2018. Democrats outnumber Republicans in the district by more than three percent, and Donald Trump lost CD 27 by 20 points last year.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.
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