More than 20 lawmakers back Michael Grieco for Senate

Grieco, Mike
He's forgoing a third House term to flip Senate District 36 blue.

More than 20 Florida lawmakers have thrown their support behind Rep. Michael Grieco’s bid to switch chambers and capture the newly redrawn Senate District 36 seat in November.

Grieco, who first won state office in 2018 after years on the Miami Beach City Commission, welcomed the endorsements in a Thursday press note.

“This show of support from my valued colleagues and friends is an honor; there’s no group of public servants with whom I’d rather be fighting the good fight,” he said in a statement. “I only hope that, next year, I can make them proud in the Senate.”

Grieco earned nods from both House and Senate members, all Democrats.

His Senate endorsers include Lori Berman of Boynton Beach, Shevrin Jones of Miami Gardens, Jason Pizzo of Miami and Tina Polsky of Boca Raton.

House backers include Democratic Minority Leader Evan Jenne of Hollywood, Democratic Whip Ramon Alexander of Tallahassee and Reps. Christopher Benjamin of Miami Gardens, Dan Daley of Coral Springs, Tracie Davis of Jacksonville, Ben Diamond of St. Petersburg, Nick Duran of Miami, Michael Gottlieb of Davie, Andrew Learned of Brandon, Michele Rayner of St. Petersburg, Kelly Skidmore of Boca Raton, Matt Willhite of Wellington and Marie Woodson of Hollywood.

Grieco filed paperwork for a Senate run in November. His original target was Senate District 37, which appeared to be wide open based on a redistricting map in contemplation at the time.

The final map the Legislature approved in early February instead placed him in SD 36.

SD 36 covers a horizontal strip of Miami-Dade County that includes parts of Miami, Miami Beach, Coral Gables and Sweetwater. PortMiami, one of the county’s two main economic engines, sits wholly within the district’s bounds. While Manny Diaz may be the current Senator for SD 36, Grieco will be running in a wholly different district; and his likely opponent would be Republican Sen. Illeana Garcia, who has recently been enmeshed in several controversial flashpoints — including an eyebrow-raising interview with CBS Miami’s Jim DeFede and a clash over revenge porn legislation.

A self-described moderate Democrat, Grieco has earned a reputation in the House of being a straight shooter — a role he’s embraced.

“I don’t think there’s a member in the House who doesn’t respect my ability to plainly speak balls and strikes,” he told Florida Politics last month when discussing bills of his that he was most passionate about this Session. “And if that’s my role, that’s my role.”

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.



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