And then there were seven.
That’s the number of Democrats who now say they will seek their party’s nomination to succeed Republican U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen who is retiring when her current term ends next year.
The latest candidate is Matt Haggman, who recently resigned as the program director with the Knight Foundation to begin laying the political ground work to run for office.
The 46-year-old Haggman, a first-time political candidate, told the Miami Herald that he has given a lot of thought about running for office since last November when President Donald Trump won the White House.
“With the election of Donald Trump, who I stand firmly and strongly and adamantly against, many of our bedrock values are under threat: the values of welcoming immigrants with open arms, of a free press guaranteed by the Constitution,” Haggman told the Herald.
Haggman will join six other Democrats who have announced their intentions to run for the Democratic nomination. They include former state Judge Mary Barzee Flores, state Rep. David Richardson, state Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez, Miami Beach Commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez, University of Miami academic adviser Michael Hepburn and Mark Anthony Person.
On the Republican side, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Bruno Barreiro, educator Maria Peiro and former Miami Dade County School Board Member Raquel Regaldo have announced they will seek the GOP nomination.
With many of his opponents having run for office in the past, Haggman says he will try to use his political newcomer status to his advantage.
Democrats believe they have a shot at turning the seat next year with the departure of the popular Ros-Lehtinen. The district leans Democratic and Hillary Clinton defeated President Trump in the district by nearly 20 points.