Florida Politics

Baez considers dropping out of special Florida Senate race


State Rep. Daisy Baez could end her candidacy Friday for a special Florida Senate election, following a Miami Herald report that she might be in violation of the state Constitution by not living in her House district.

Baez’s campaign manager, Dan Newman, said the freshman Democrat had not yet made a decision as of early Friday.

“She’s at a breakfast right now,” he told the Miami Herald. “We’re going to talk and make a final decision later today. It’s certainly a conversation that we’re having.”

Asked by a reporter outside the Attorney Marketing Breakfast in Doral, Baez declined to comment and called talk of her potential exit “rumors.”

“As always, every day we look at the landscape and try to make the best decision that we can for our race,” she said.

Politico Florida reported earlier Friday that Baez could bow out of Senate District 40 race as a result of the Herald’s Tuesday report noting that Baez still lives in a Coral Gables house outside her House District 114. Lawmakers are supposed to live in the districts they represent on the day they’re elected — in Baez’s case, Nov. 8 of last year.

Baez had been the Florida Democratic Party’s apparent favorite to replace Sen. Frank Artiles, a Republican who resigned last month after making offensive remarks to two other senators in Tallahassee. She was the first Democrat to announce her candidacy, and quickly drew the big-name endorsements of two gubernatorial candidates, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, in what was widely seen as an attempt to clear the primary election field.

But two other Hispanic women, businesswoman Annette Taddeo and former state Rep. Ana Rivas Logan, entered the race anyway. And a recent Democratic poll showed Taddeo — who’s run for office four times — far ahead of Rivas Logan. Baez, who unlike her rivals doesn’t live in the Senate district, was a distant third.

Qualifying for the special July 25 primary election and Sept. 26 general election isn’t until May 30-31. But incumbent lawmakers like Baez would have to file letters resigning from their current seats 10 days earlier. That’s this weekend, which is why Baez is likely to make a decision on her candidacy Friday.