Democratic Rep. Shevrin Jones has represented House District 101 for the past eight years. He wants West Park Vice Mayor Brian C. Johnson to serve for at least the next two.
Jones endorsed Johnson in the HD 101 Democratic primary more than a year ago in June 2019. Now, Johnson faces Pembroke Park Mayor Ashira Mohammed and former Miami-Dade County Public Administrator Marie Woodson for the Democratic nomination.
Johnson and Woodson appear the favorites as HD 101 residents seek Jones’ successor. Constituents are looking to fill big shoes.
Jones had some big wins in his final term. He was behind a measure allowing local governments to set up needle exchange programs to help slow the spread of disease among individuals battling addiction. He also sponsored legislation requiring women inmates to be provided hygiene products, a requirement that did not exist under state law previously.
Jones is now seeking a transition to the Senate after facing term limits in the House. Jones believes Johnson is best equipped to handle the job. Donors do too, as Johnson led the field in fundraising, topping $120,000 added through July 31.
Woodson was no slouch, however, raising $95,000 on her own and adding another $8,000 in loans. Woodson also secured the South Florida Sun-Sentinel’s endorsement.
A 35-year veteran of Miami-Dade government, Woodson is well-versed on issues such as affordable housing and drug abuse despite having never held elected office.
Mohammed courted less than $34,000 and attracted less institutional support than Johnson or Woodson, though she has served 17 years in elected office.
All three candidates promised to focus on the economic fallout of COVID-19 in questionnaires provided by the League of Women Voters. Both Johnson and Woodson said they would “strongly support” a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Mohammed said she neither supports nor opposes such a ban, though that legislation would be dead on arrival given Republicans’ hold on state government.
The district has a 44-percentage-point advantage for Democrats in terms of voter registration. That means the winner of Tuesday night’s contest will be a heavy favorite against Republican candidate Vinny Parlatore in November.