Republican Alexis Calatayud has picked up her first endorsement in her bid to succeed Miami Rep. Vance Aloupis in House District 115, and it’s from the man himself.
Aloupis on Thursday threw his support behind Calatayud, who ran both of his campaigns for HD 115 in 2018 and 2020, when Aloupis won re-election by nearly 15 percentage points.
Between those two election cycles, the 28-year-old Cuban American and lifelong member of the GOP worked as a legislative aide in his district office.
Calatayud, now director of policy and programs at the Florida Department of Education, is an ideal successor, according to Aloupis.
“She knows this district — and this district knows her,” he said in a statement. “Alexis will have my full support, and I know she’ll be a tremendous champion for our community and Florida’s education system.”
Calatayud emerged Wednesday as a candidate for HD 115 just hours after Aloupis announced that he will not seek a third term in the Florida House, citing a desire to spend more time with his family, particularly his three young daughters.
A lawyer by training and the CEO of The Children’s Movement of Florida, Aloupis’ impetus to run for public office, he told Florida Politics, stemmed from a desire to draw more interest in Tallahassee to early learning programs and initiatives.
In his four years as a state lawmaker, he scored numerous successes on that front. Calatayud will continue to carry the cause forward, he said.
“From her time as a twice-elected Student Body President at (Florida International University) to her work on behalf of District 115 and her time at the Florida Department of Education, Alexis has always put families and students first,” he said.
In a Wednesday statement announcing her candidacy, Calatayud put her education priorities — and credentials — front and center.
“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.”
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.
March 31, 2022 at 5:14 pm
They are using a old man’s name to pull their pants down to children’s
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