Miami-Dade Commission Chair, Vice Chair endorse Vicki Lopez for re-election in HD 113

Vicki Lopez VL
One is a fellow Republican; the other, a Democrat.

The two highest-ranking members of the Miami-Dade County Commission want to see Republican Rep. Vicki Lopez represent House District 113 for two more years.

Miami-Dade Commission Chair Oliver Gilbert and Vice Chair Anthony Rodriguez are both endorsing Lopez over her new challenger, Key Biscayne Democratic Club President Jackie Gross-Kellogg.

Gilbert, a Democrat who previously served as Mayor of Miami Gardens, said Lopez has “never failed to fight for policies that address the real issues” South Florida residents face.

“She has been a champion for House District 113, and it has been a pleasure to work closely with her on numerous occasions to promote smart growth and economic prosperity in Miami-Dade,” he said in a statement.

“I’m proud to offer her my endorsement and look forward to the opportunity to continue serving alongside her.”

Rodriguez, a former House member, said he’s been “very impressed” with Lopez’s legislative successes.

“As she continues to serve in the Legislature, I know she will faithfully represent the best interests of her constituents and will always fight for common sense and democracy,” he said in a statement. “Thank you, Rep. Lopez, for all of your good work, and it is an honor to endorse her campaign for re-election.”

Lopez, a longtime Republican political insider, won her seat in November 2022 with 51% of the vote. She has since proved herself to be an especially effective center-right lawmaker.

In her first legislative round last year, Lopez had a respectable 40% success rate on bills she sponsored, including the game-changing Live Local Act.

This year, she had a 75% clearance rate, thanks to bills like “Condo 3.0,” the “My Safe Florida Condominium Pilot Program” and a Live Local Act update.

She also wasn’t afraid to vote against her fellow Republicans on proposals like the state’s newly effective six-week abortion ban.

Her sole challenger as of Wednesday, Gross-Kellogg, is a longtime Key Biscayne resident, nonprofit development professional and public school advocate who was elected Central Region Coordinator of the Miami-Dade Council PTA/PTSA Executive Board in 2022.

Gross-Kellogg told Florida Politics she hopes others jump in the race before the June 14 qualifying deadline.

“That’s the way it should be,” she said. “This is a majority Democratic district and our party is in line with the needs of the HD 113 community as well as all of South Florida.”

Democratic publicity specialist Jenny Lee Molina also filed to run against Lopez this month but pulled out less than 24 hours after submitting her paperwork. Molina, who has worked since April 2023 as Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava’s senior digital strategist, said she decided not to run after learning she’d have to quit her job to do so.

Several people online, including Fergie Reid of the “90 for 90” campaign, took that as meaning the Mayor and her re-election campaign team had pressured Molina not to run.

Molina told Florida Politics she and Levine Cava had “a good conversation about (her) aspirations” and that the Mayor “was understanding.”

“The decision to jump into politics in any capacity is not easy and it requires a serious time commitment,” she said by text. “I decided that now is not the right moment in my career. I look forward to the future when I have more flexibility and my son is older. My priority is my family, further developing my career, and working toward my master’s (degree) in public administration. My time will come!”

HD 113 covers a central portion of Miami-Dade County, spanning all of Key Biscayne and parts of Coral Gables and Miami, including Virginia Key and PortMiami, one of the county’s two top economic engines.

According to analyses by Matt Isbell of MCI Maps, the district is flippable. Biden won HD 113 by 12 percentage points in 2020, and DeSantis won it by two points two years later.

The qualifying deadline for state candidates is June 14.


This report has been updated to include more information on, and from, Gross-Kellogg.

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.

One comment

  • Dont Say FLA

    May 29, 2024 at 1:43 pm

    Face not crazied. No plastic surgeries disastered.

    Huh, there is conservative woman left in Florida that isn’t a MFL. Who knew. Good for her. Good for us. Good for all of us. Everyone.

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