EMILY’s List is backing Mary Barzee Flores in what is expected to be a heated race to replace Miami U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who’s quitting Congress after nearly three decades.
Flores, a onetime public defender and former Miami-Dade circuit judge, will face off in the Democratic primary against (among others) state Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez, who’s also a lawyer and who flipped a GOP seat last year after emerging victorious in a vicious contest with incumbent Miguel Diaz de la Portilla (another lawyer).
The backing of Emily’s List not only aids Flores in the fundraising arena, but could also give her a leg up with women voters, who may be more voted to support female candidates amid the national uprising about sexual harassment in the boardroom, in statehouses, in Congress, and, of course, in Hollywood.
The EMILY’s List press release, issued this morning:
“Mary Barzee Flores has built a reputation as a dogged public defender and empathetic judge in the same community she was born and where she and her husband are raising their family. Now EMILY’s List is proud to endorse her as she seeks to bring her incredible work ethic and passion for her hometown to the halls of Congress,” EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock said in the release.
“This open seat represents an opportunity for Floridians to send a message to Washington. Working families need a representative who will fight to protect basic women’s health care services, defend against the rolling back of environmental protections, and push to reform our broken immigration system. Mary is ready for the job, and we look forward to supporting her every step of the way.”
Mary stepped up to run and to fight for the working families of Miami-Dade County after the 2016 election inspired her to be the candidate she knew her community needed. She is running for the open seat currently held by retiring incumbent Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who has represented this district since 1990 — a time during which South Florida has undergone dramatic changes. Mary is an outstanding leader running a strong grassroots campaign, and she has what it takes to flip this must-win seat.