Veteran GOP operative Alina García has dropped her Senate bid to instead run for House District 115, whose current Representative recently announced plans to vacate his seat.
García announced the move Tuesday, noting she had roughly $300,000 to support her House campaign.
“With over 30 years of public service experience, I am ready to provide strong, principled leadership during these challenging times and spearhead policies that offer tax relief to residents while fostering economic development and job creation,” she said in a statement. “This community is my home. It’s where I’ve raised my children, where I go to church, and where I have served my neighbors throughout my public service career.”
An anti-abortion, anti-communism candidate, García has worked for several prominent Republican politicians in Congress, the Florida Cabinet, Florida Legislature and Miami-Dade County.
She served as U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio’s first legislative aide when he was elected to the Florida House in 1999. In a Jan. 24 endorsement, Rubio described her as a “consensus-builder and common-sense leader who will never stop fighting for our community.”
Her work history also includes stints in the offices of Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, Hialeah Mayor Esteban “Steve” Bovo (when he was a Miami-Dade Commissioner), Miami Commissioner Joe Carollo, former U.S. Rep. David Rivera and former state Sen. Frank Artiles.
She’ll face first-time candidate Alexis Calatayud, who announced last Wednesday that she will run to succeed her former boss, state Rep. Vance Aloupis, in HD 115.
HD 115 covers a diverse portion of Miami-Dade, including the coastal municipalities of Cutler Bay, Palmetto Bay and Pinecrest and the unincorporated neighborhoods of The Falls, Kendall and Westchester.
García said she will announce additional endorsements of her campaign “in the days and weeks ahead.”