Republicans can breathe a sigh of relief Tuesday night as Alex Rizo topped Democratic candidate Annette Collazo in the race for House Speaker José Oliva‘s seat in House District 110.
According to Tuesday’s unofficial results, Rizo is ahead of Collazo 60%-40%.
Both candidates have a background in public education. Collazo is a teacher who earned an economics degree from Florida International University. Rizo is a former teacher who served as an administrator in the Miami-Dade Public Schools system.
Neither candidate faced a primary challenge, and Rizo entered the General Election as the presumed favorite. Rizo began the General Election season with a more than $30,000 cash advantage over Collazo. Oliva has held the seat for eight years, only vacating it because of term limits.
Collazo was quick to catch up in the money game thanks to a surge of out-of-state donations.
Collazo’s fundraising prowess raised some concern about Republicans’ plans to comfortably hold the district. The GOP has a 37%-29% advantage in terms of voter registration over Democrats within the district — with the remaining voters being non-affiliated or third-party members. Still, Collazo tried to put forward a serious effort to make this race competitive and had a sizable money edge for the final stretch.
“I believe our message will carry the day in this race and I’m committed to raising the necessary funds to reach voters with that message,” Collazo said as she reached those fundraising highs.
Ultimately, Rizo was still able to prevail thanks to the GOP lean inside HD 110. The LIBRE Initiative Action also backed Rizo in his bid. That organization is a pro-Hispanic interest group backed by Americans for Prosperity Action, part of the Koch network.
The South Florida Council of Fire Fighters had endorsed Collazo. That organization endorses members of both political parties.
The district covers parts of Miami-Dade County including Miami Lakes and Hialeah.