Give Miami Beach Commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez credit for being bold: She's resigning her seat to run a congressional race that even she recently said she can't win.
While Rosen Gonzalez touted her "confidence" Friday in an email announcing plans to step down from her seat on the city commission in order to continue running for Congress, it was only three weeks ago that she told her rivals that she had no shot.
In text messages and emails, Rosen Gonzalez urged other Democrats to get out of the race to replace U.S. Rep. Ilean Ros-Lehtinen. Claiming that frontrunner University of Miami president Donna Shalala was a "monster" candidate who could not be beat, Rosen Gonzalez told multiple people that nobody else had a chance, and that candidates should make other plans.
"None of us can beat Shalala," she texted state Rep. David Richardson on April 5., noting that she, herself, was considering her options. "Statistically you can't win. Me either, unless Shalala gets out."
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Rosen Gonzalez — who has complained that Florida Republicans have tried to bully her out of the race — sent additional correspondence early this month suggesting other candidates should exit the race, according to the congressional campaign for former judge Mary Barzee Flores. Rosen Gonzalez told Richardson he should run for a vacant county commission seat, and said she would do so herself if she lived in the district.
Despite that, Rosen Gonzalez announced Friday that she intends to resign from her city commission position in order to comply with Florida's resign-to-run law, which she unsuccessfully sued to block. She's said she'll turn in her resignation at 3 p.m., although it's not clear yet when she'll make the resignation effective.
Reached by text, Rosen Gonzalez said her belief earlier this month that no one can beat Shalala was based off polling conducted before two Democrats — Jose Javier Rodriguez and Ken Russell — withdrew. Now, she said, the math is different.
"She still has a big lead, but I can overcome it," Rosen Gonzalez said. "Donna Shalala has name recognition, that's it."
Rosen Gonzalez said she wasn't telling other candidates to get out of the race, but rather sharing "proprietary data" that reflected their odds of winning. She said her data shows that, with Rodriguez out of the race, she's now in second place.
But she did not respond when asked if she would share her information.
"I am firmly in second place now," she said.