Mere hours after Florida Politics broke news that incumbent Miami Republican Rep. Vance Aloupis will not seek a third term representing House District 115, a potential successor has arisen — and she’s a former high-ranking staffer of his.
Her name is Alexis Calatayud. She’s a 28-year-old Cuban American and a lifelong member of the GOP. She’s also the current director of policy and programs at the Florida Department of Education, meaning she carries expertise likely to resonate with voters who previously backed Aloupis for his support of early education initiatives.
“To Alexis, educational opportunity means we ensure every child can achieve the American Dream through high-quality, accessible VPK-12 education, affordable postsecondary programs, and workforce training that align with the jobs of the future,” a press note announcing Calatayud’s candidacy said. “Serving the FLDOE for two Sessions, Alexis worked in lockstep with the Legislature to enhance Florida’s VPK-20 Education System — successfully advocating for historic increases in public education, teacher salary funding, and developing education laws signed by the Governor into a multi-tiered implementation plan.”
For some, Calatayud’s name is familiar. Before working in legislative affairs at the FLDOE, she ran both of Aloupis’ campaigns for HD 115 during the 2018 and 2020 election cycles. While he narrowly won the first race, securing just 579 more votes than his opponent, he won re-election by about 15 percentage points two years later.
Between those two elections, Calatayud served as Aloupis’ legislative aide.
Calatayud graduated from Florida International University in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and international relations. That year, she worked on former Gov. Jeb Bush’s Miami-Dade County Campaign Leadership group and as an organizing fellow with Young Invincibles, a nonprofit focused on boosting the voices of young people in politics.
Her other experience includes working as a campaign manager for Republican Andrew Vargas’ House District 114 bid in early 2018, a year-long internship under U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and serving as President of the FIU Student Government Association for two terms.
According to her LinkedIn page, she is now working to attain a credential in public leadership from Harvard University.
HD 115 covers a section of Miami-Dade including Cutler Bay, Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest and the unincorporated neighborhoods of Kendall, Sunset and Westchester.
Prior to its expansion by the Legislature during redistricting, the district leaned Republican. It has remained in GOP hands for close to two decades.
Aloupis had been running unopposed before dropping out of the race, meaning HD 115 — for now — is wide open for the taking.