Former HD 120 candidate Daniel Horton-Diaz to again seek seat in 2022

Daniel Horton-Diaz
Horton-Diaz will seek the seat held by Republican Rep. Jim Mooney.

Former House District 120 candidate Daniel Horton-Diaz says he’ll run as a Democratic candidate in this year’s contest for the same House seat.

Horton-Diaz’s paperwork to officially declare his candidacy is set to arrive in Tallahassee Tuesday. The House redistricting plans would adjust HD 120’s boundaries, but the district would still cover all of the Keys and parts of southern Miami-Dade County.

“I am proud to join this race to serve the incredible people of the Florida Keys and South Miami-Dade,” Horton-Diaz said in a statement announcing his candidacy.

“The people of this district deserve a Representative who will work for them and champion their interests in our state government. We must address the desperate need for affordable housing throughout the district, work together to fight sea level rise and the climate crisis, reduce traffic and excessive tolls, and ensure that local communities are able to govern themselves without interference from Tallahassee. I intend to do that as the State Representative for this community.”

Horton-Diaz previously worked as a district chief of staff to former U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell. He ran in the Senate District 39 contest in 2020. He lost the Democratic Primary to Rep. Javier Fernández, 59%-41%. But Horton-Diaz defeated Fernández in Monroe County, 55%-45%.

Horton-Diaz served as the Democratic nominee in the HD 120 race in 2016. After emerging from the Democratic Primary, Horton-Diaz lost to Republican Rep. Holly Raschein 57%-43%.

But the decennial redistricting process will see that seat shift a bit for the 2022 election cycle. While the district has similar boundaries under each of the House’s proposed redistricting plans, the voting makeup is actually starkly different, according to Matthew Isbell of MCI Maps.

One version gives Republicans a 5-point advantage, based on how the proposed district voted in the 2020 presidential contest. The second proposed map, however, leans Democratic by just over 3 points. Lawmakers aren’t bound to use either of those drafts in their final redistricting proposal, however, meaning things could change further ahead of Election Day.

Horton-Diaz is the first Democratic candidate who has filed to challenge Mooney after Mooney won the open seat in November 2020. Republican candidate Robert Allen has filed paperwork to mount a GOP Primary challenge against Mooney.

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected]


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