Because of term limits, many veteran members of the South Florida legislative delegation won't be heading back to Tallahassee next year. This gives voters who are tired of incumbents a great opportunity to turn the page and select a new crop of lawmakers who can find sensible ways to deal with the many tough challenges -- principally budget, growth and education issues -- that Florida faces. All three of the recommendations we make today involve districts where the incumbent is retiring due to term limits.
This rectangularly-shaped central district stretching from Doral in the north to Cutler Bay on the southeast has been represented by J.C. Planas, who was first elected in 2002. The principal contenders are Republican Jose Felix Diaz and Democrat Jeffrey "Doc" Solomon. Christopher Blau is a Tea Party candidate.
Dr. Solomon, 50, has a practice as a mobile chiropractor and describes himself as a progressive on social issues. He believes the Legislature's "first job" should be to make the hard choices necessary to fix what he calls Florida's "outdated, backward and ineffective" tax policy.
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Our choice in this race, as it was in the GOP primary, is for Mr. Diaz, a 30-year-old attorney making his first run for public office. Mr. Diaz has a firm grasp of the issues and believes all sales tax loopholes should be reconsidered and closed.
He said he did not support the vetoed Senate Bill 6 that played such a large role in this year's legislative session, but he well understands the need for improvements in the state's education system, including state colleges and universities. "I cannot understand how the fourth largest state in this country does not have a university that is ranked higher than the top 45 by our most noteworthy ranking systems, " he told the Miami Herald's editorial board.
For Florida House, District 115, The Miami Herald recommends JOSE FELIX DIAZ.