Nearly a month after announcing she would not seek reelection to Congress, the dust has yet to settle surrounding the field of candidates who might choose to seek the seat held by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.
On the Republican side, the big question that could guide what happens in that race continues to be whether Carlos Lopez Cantera will enter the contest. A source close to the lieutenant governor said Monday that Lopez Cantera is still considering a possible run and a decision is expected within the next couple of weeks.
Ever since his name was first mentioned as a potential candidate, it’s been speculated that Lopez Cantera’s decision will likely influence the decision of other potential Republican candidates.
A couple of state senators, Anitere Flores and Rene Garcia, were frequently mentioned as possible candidates, but both later removed their name from the field of possibilities.
That’s not to say that everyone in the GOP with an interest in the race is sitting by waiting for the lieutenant governor to make up his mind.
Miami-Dade County Commissioner Bruno Barreiro has announced he plans to run for the GOP nomination.
Former Miami-Dade School Board member Raquel Regalado doesn’t appear to be waiting around either and is still considered to be a strong possibility for getting into the race.
For the Democrats, a new name has surfaced in recent days as a possible contender for the District 27 seat.
Although he has not committed to getting in the race, state Representative David Richardson says he is seriously considering the possibility.
When he was first elected into the Legislature in 2012, Richardson was the first openly-gay lawmaker elected in Florida. Richardson’s House district sits entirely inside the Congressional District 27. In his last election, he won reelection with 65 percent of the vote.
State Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez has said he expects to be among those seeking the Democratic nomination.
Scott Fuhrman has also said he plans to run again after losing to Ros-Lehtinen last November.
Despite all of the names mentioned as possible candidates, only four have filed with the Florida Secretary of State’s Office. elThey include three Democrats: Miami Beach Commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez; Michael A. Hepburn, a senior academic advisor for UM’s School of Business; and, Mark Anthony Person. All three filed before Ros Lehtinen announced she would not run again.
The fourth candidate who has filed, is Republican Maria Peiro.