Alexis Calatayud Monday switched her bid to succeed her former boss, Rep. Vance Aloupis, to a Senate race that involves a Primary fight.
The self-described “lifelong Republican” will be up against Vicki Lopez in Senate District 38 for the right to face first-time candidate Democrat Janelle Perez in the General Election. The newly drawn district encompasses coastal Miami-Dade, parts of Coral Gables, Homestead and Miami, as well as the entirety of Pinecrest, Palmetto Bay and Cutler Bay.
“Our community deserves principled and pragmatic leadership that fights for greater opportunity, prosperity, and quality of life,” Calatayud said. “I am running for the state Senate to champion economic freedom and educational opportunity — to empower families and to ensure Floridians of every generation can access and achieve their American dream.”
Less than an hour after filing for her Senate run, Calatayud had earned endorsements from Senate President Wilton Simpson, Senate President-Designate Kathleen Passidomo, and Sen. Ben Albritton. On Monday, Calatayud’s announcement highlighted her Cuban American heritage, Miami-Dade roots, and improving educational opportunities. Until recently, she was director of policy and programs at the Florida Department of Education.
Calatayud was Aloupis’ campaign manager in the 2018 and 2020 election cycles as he sought to represent Miami-Dade’s House District 115. Between 2018 and 2020, Aloupis’ margin of victory widened from one percentage point to nearly 15 points. Calatayud served as his legislative aide through 2020 and received his endorsement when she announced her intention to run for the seat he was vacating.
The bid will be a tough one for any Republican. SD 38 is a newly drawn district that elected President Joe Biden by +7 percentage points, according to Matt Isbell’s analysis for MCI Maps.
Calatayud’s announcement highlighted her educational chops.
“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,” it reads.
Calatayud is a graduate of Florida International University. According to her announcement, she served two terms as student body president and a university trustee implementing institutional, local, state, and federal advocacy strategies to advance college affordability efforts while interning for Sen. Marco Rubio.