Phil Ehr drops Senate bid, will challenge Carlos Giménez in CD 28
Phil Ehr changes his mind.

phil ehr
The Democrat has Debbie Mucarsel-Powell's backing to run in her old district while she challenges Rick Scott.

Democrat Phil Ehr is ending his Senate campaign. Instead, he will challenge U.S. Rep. Carlos Giménez, a Miami-Dade Republican, in Florida’s 28th Congressional District.

He announced the move ahead of a Miami press conference with former U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, the Democrat Giménez unseated in 2020. Mucarsel-Powell and Her both faced one another in the Democratic Primary to choose a challenger to U.S. Rick Scott’s re-election.

“I am running to represent the people of South Miami-Dade and the Florida Keys with integrity,” Ehr said. “The incumbent joined MAGA extremists in creating dysfunction and chaos in Congress. Floridians want their individual freedoms protected and a democracy and economy that work for them. I will fight for this every day in Congress.”

It’s worth noting that Giménez, while a supporter of former President Donald Trump’s 2024 run for office, has recently been at odds with the party’s MAGA wing, voting against the ouster of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and yesterday helping block Freedom Caucus founder Jim Jordan’s bid to take over the House.

Now Mucarsel-Powell has endorsed Ehr’s House candidacy in her old district, while Mucarsel-Powell cements her status as a front-runner for the nomination in the statewide contest.

Ehr previously ran for Congress against U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz in 2020, losing the long shot bid in the deep-red Panhandle district by more than 133,000 votes.

While Ehr shifts from Florida’s northwestern-most district to America’s southernmost point, he’s arguably running in a swing district.

Giménez handily won re-election in 2022 over Democrat Robert Asencio with more than 64% of the vote as Florida Republicans overperformed in the Midterms. But just two years prior, he narrowly edged Mucarsel-Powell with 52% of the vote.

The same year Giménez won the seat, about 53% of voters in the district supported Republican Donald Trump for President compared to more than 46% who backed Democrat Joe Biden. But in 2018, more than 52% of voters there supported Democrat Andrew Gillum for Governor even as Republican Ron DeSantis won statewide.

While the national campaign arms for neither the Democrats nor the Republicans have invested heavily in CD 28 this cycle, there has been interest depending on Giménez’s political decisions. He recently told Telemundo he has not ruled out running for his old job as Miami-Dade Mayor, challenging Democratic incumbent Daniella Levine Cava.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].

One comment

  • Phil Morton

    October 18, 2023 at 8:45 pm

    Well done Phil Ehr. you’ll make a great Congressman.

Comments are closed.


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