***UPDATE: Alex Diaz de la Portilla has announced he plans to file to officially enter the race for Senate District 40.
One former state senator’s self-induced nightmare is shaping up to be an unexpected opportunity for other politically seasoned candidates.
Governor Rick Scott has set the dates for the special election to replace disgraced Rep. Frank Artiles’ District 40 Senate seat out of the Miami area. The special primary is set for July 25 and special general election will be Sept. 26 for the District 40 senate seat.
Artiles left his post in shame after spewing racial slurs in a private club in Tallahassee. After fighting the demands that he resign, Artiles finally acquiesced, leaving in the middle of Session 2017.
And now the mad scramble to win the seat is on.
Frontline Strategies, one of the leaders in Florida for political and grass roots campaign management, says special elections can be good and bad for candidates.
“Advantages for a special election are all found within the context of the competition. Big money may not mean as much,” says FSL President Brett Doster. “Hard work matters and street fighters will come out on top.”
So far, there’s three potential “street fighters” officially in this race with rumors of more.
Democrat Annette Taddeo is the most recent candidate to file. She’s a business woman out of Miami running a translation company. She’s run for office multiple time, including once as Charlie Crist’s running mate when he unsuccessfully ran for governor.
Fellow Democrat Rep. Daisy Baez, of Coral Gables was the first to file.
Former state Sen. Alex Diaz de la Portilla is the only Republican so far.
“It will all come down to the candidates and their work ethics,” adds Doster.