On November 5th, the Libertarian Party's first candidate in Miami-Dade County, Hialeah City Council candidate Marcos Miralles, surprised many experts by pulling 25% of the votes against an incumbent that outraised him 175-to-1.
Determined to progress from the success, Libertarian candidates have been stepping up in South Florida and one of them has chosen the ambitious goal of running for Florida's legislature.
Omar Recuero, a young Libertarian Party of Florida leader in his 30s, has filed to run for the State's House of Representatives' District 100. The district covers a long area, from the town of Surfside in Miami-Dade County to Dania Beach in Broward County, and includes two of the wealthiest towns in Florida: Indian Creek and Golden Beach.
Recuero has already assembled a team to help him with his campaign, and a lot of the same faces come from Hialeah's November election. Melissa Gomez has been formalized a Omar Recuero's Surfside Coordinator, while the tougher job of Miami-Dade County Coordinator (covering 60% of the district) has been given to Pierre Crevaux (this author), who managed Marcos Miralles' campaign a few months back.
Recuero's responsibilities are not among the easiest. By Florida Law, he must first gather around 940 petition signatures to have his name on the ballot. But according to his campaign, they "have a goal of 2,000 signatures to make sure we get ballot access."
District 100 is known for being a Democratic stronghold. Held for the past three cycles by Rep. Joe Gibbons, who is termed out of office and has never ran for re-election facing a Republican challenger, the district's most closely watched race is the Democratic primary, set to take place next August. Four candidates are seeking the Democratic nomination, including Joe Geller, former Dade Democratic Party chairman, North Bay Village mayor, and current town attorney for Miami Lakes and Opa-locka, and Alexander Lewy, vice-mayor of Hallandale Beach.
Republicans are hoping on gaining ground following the Obamacare debacle in Washington and are fielding one candidate so far, Martin A. Feigenbaum, who filed this week. Feigenbaum is a Surfside-based attorney who is planning on raising a lot of money from his special interest contacts.
But Libertarians are not planning on giving up. "Of course, we were happier in a two-way race, where we would have attracted both independents and Republicans. But Martin Feigenbaum's late entrance in the race is no problem for us. He has the typical profile of the Establishment, 'Mitt Romney'-type Republican that's costing so much to his party. We will have a grassroots campaign and reach out to everyone, from tea party groups to LGBT organizations," said Omar Recuero's Surfside Coordinator Melissa Gomez.
The Libertarian Party is gaining ground in South Florida and it is proving its capacity as a game changer in traditional politics. District 100's race is expected to show this phenomenon next November.