Attorney Jean-Pierre Bado has narrowly defeated Susi Loyzelle in the House District 114 Democratic primary.
The winner gets a shot to replace Democratic Rep. Javier Fernández. According to Tuesday’s unofficial results, Bado leads Loyzelle 51.2%-48.8%, topping her by fewer than 300 votes.
“Thank you to all of you who counseled, supported, contributed, volunteered and/or voted for me,” Bado said in a statement following the win.
“Words simply cannot express the depth of my gratitude nor the force of my resolve to represent Floridians with integrity, compassion and dedication. Of course, I would be remiss if I did not thank my opponent for helping us turn out a total 12,660 Democrats in this primary cycle.”
When Fernández was encouraged to run for the Senate, he left his current district vulnerable. Bado will go up against well-funded Republican candidate Demi Busatta Cabrera in November.
“I congratulate J.P. on becoming the Democratic nominee for House District 114,” said Miami-Dade Democratic Party Chair Steve Simeonidis.
“J.P.’s story is an inspiring one of service to his country, and I know he will make an excellent representative for his constituents in Tallahassee. We are excited to work with him to defend this seat.”
Busatta Cabrera, who ran unopposed in the primary, has been the most prolific fundraiser in the field, and she earned a key endorsement from the Florida chapter of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). Busatta Cabrera also was backed by the South Florida Council of Fire Fighters.
Loyzelle just entered the race two months ago. She raised more than $34,000 in her brief tenure in the race, adding another $6,500 in loans. Bado added nearly $62,000.
Bado, a lawyer and U.S. Army veteran, was endorsed by the Florida chapter of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). His campaign page pledged a fight for living wages and accessible health care, and he said the district needs to be vigilant against rising waters. He also advocated for commonsense gun reform.
Loyzelle, a graduate of St. Leo University, was first elected to Cutler Bay’s Town Council in 2011. She spent much of her professional career with the YMCA and has been a member of many local civic organizations.
Her electoral priorities included providing affordable health care and investing in education, and Loyzelle hoped to increase green building standards and de-carbonization policies.
Busatta Cabrera, the former chief of staff for Sen. Anitere Flores, raised more than $100,000. The Florida State University graduate said on her campaign page she commits to supporting law enforcement and first responders, and she pledged to support additional funding for education, including raises for teachers.
HD 114 covers parts of Miami-Dade County including West Miami and Cutler Bay.