Politics

Lopez-Cantera says no to Miami run for Congress

Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, pictured in 2015, had been courted by national Republicans to run for Congress.
Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, pictured in 2015, had been courted by national Republicans to run for Congress. Miami Herald file

Florida Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera has decided not to run for Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s seat in Congress, though he may seek another office in 2020.

“We have decided that being a candidate in 2018 is not what’s best for our family,” Lopez-Cantera, who is married and has two young daughters, said in a statement.

He pledged to remain involved in politics and suggested he could launch a future candidacy for an unnamed position. He’s considered a possible contender to become Miami-Dade County’s next mayor.

“There is still a lot of work to be done and I will continue to look for ways to be a part of the solution,” he said. “I may run for public office again, but not in 2018.”

Instead of jumping into the race for Florida’s 27th congressional district, Lopez-Cantera said he will complete his term as lieutenant governor, which ends next year. He’s No. 2 to Republican Gov. Rick Scott.

“I will also be supporting candidates and causes that lower the cost of government on our citizens, such as the upcoming constitutional amendment for an additional homestead exemption,” said Lopez-Cantera, the former Miami-Dade property appraiser.

National Republicans courted Lopez-Cantera to try to replace Ros-Lehtinen, who is retiring next year after nearly three decades in Congress. The coastal Miami-Dade County district leans Democratic, and Lopez-Cantera is decidedly conservative, though a survey conducted by his former pollster in May suggested Lopez-Cantera would be well positioned to run given his name recognition among GOP voters.

The two well-known Republicans who have declared their candidacies, County Commissioner Bruno Barreiro and former School Board member Raquel Regalado, are generally more moderate. Seven Democrats are also running.

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