Miami Rep. Jose Javier Rodriguez said he was eyeing a Senate run last week, and fellow Democrat Antonio J. Diaz didn’t waste any time filing to take over for the two-term representative in House District 112.
Diaz is best known for leading a recall campaign against Miami Mayor Carlos Jiminez and for his own campaign for Miami City Commission, which stalled out after Diaz didn’t file the paperwork to get on the ballot.
If he manages to make it on the 2016 card, he likely won’t be the only candidate on the docket. HD 112 has a close split in voter registrations and Rodriguez faced tough battles in both of his elections. In 2012, he faced Republican Alex Diaz de la Portilla and managed a 54-to-46 victory. In 2014, the margin shrank to 2 points against Republican Daniel Diaz Leyva.
Rodriguez is likely to file for Senate District 37, which was expected to pit Democratic Sen. Gwen Margolis against Republican Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla. Margolis, though, has said she would move out of the district to run in the new heavily Democratic Senate District 38.
SD 37 is still winnable for Democrats, though. Elections data shows President Barack Obama won the district with a 53.6 percent share of the vote in 2012 and Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson took 56.6 percent in the same cycle. Republicans ruled the day in the midterms, however, with Gov. Rick Scott and all three Republican Cabinet members winning the district in the 2010 election.
If he jumps into the Senate race, Rodriguez will bring about $55,000 in on-hand cash with him.