Miami Beach Commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez, a Democrat in the second year of her first term on the commission, has filed to run for the Congressional seat held by Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in 2018.
She is one of several Democrats who have filed for the recently redrawn 27th Congressional district, which now leans Democratic. Hilary Clinton won the district by 20 percentage points in the presidential election.
Democrat Scott Fuhrman, who lost to Ros-Lehtinen in 2016, said earlier this month he will challenge her again. Michael A. Hepburn, a senior academic advisor for UM’s School of Business, filed in February. Mark Anthony Person filed to run with the state Division of Elections but his name was not listed with the Federal Election Commission.
Ros-Lehtinen, a vocal critic of President Donald Trump, has been in office since 1989. In a statement Thursday, Rosen Gonzalez took aim at the congresswoman.
“We deserve a member of congress who will hold President Trump accountable,” she said. “Instead of the President’s lapdog, I’ll be a watchdog who stands up for science against climate change deniers, stands up for immigrants against persecution, and fights back against partisan attacks on women’s health care.”
Rosen Gonzalez is a Miami Dade College professor who is finishing her PhD dissertation on leadership in higher education administration at Barry University. A single mother of three, she was elected to the Beach commission, her first public office, in November 2015.
The election for District 27 is in November 2018, a year before her term on the Miami Beach Commission runs out. Rosen Gonzalez is not required to resign from the commission to run for higher office.
“I want the residents of Miami Beach to know that I am committed to them and will advocate for them whether I serve on the Miami Beach commission or represent them in Congress,” she told the Miami Herald.
An earlier version of this article left out two candidates.