Phillip Brutus State Senate District 38Unlike Ms. Campbell, Mr. Brutus, an attorney, supports the rights of LGBT Floridians, rejecting discriminatory legislation. He says that the poorer areas of this district are not “workforce ready” and he wants to bring more vocational education to those neighborhoods and get businesses involved with high schools students. He also wants residential developers to set aside 25 percent of new building for affordable rentals. He believes in the Second Amendment, but rightly does not support open carry or campus carry. It gives people “a sense of invincibility,” Mr Brutus told the Editorial Board. “Too many things can happen.” He criticizes Rep. Campbell for voting against holding a special session on gun issues.
Mr. Brutus wants the state to confront climate change head on and opposes fracking: “We’ve got to go green.” Though he says he will caucus with the Democrats, Mr. Brutus is running as an NPA candidate — no party affiliation.
His progressive views are more in tune with this large, diverse district.
The Herald recommends PHILLIP BRUTUS for State Senate District 38.
Jose Javier Rodriguez State Senate District 37Mr. Rodriguez, 38, contrasts his own background as a former member of the Peace Corps and legal aid lawyer against Sen. Diaz de la Portilla’s work as a lobbyist for powerful interests such as charter schools and developers. His own work, Mr. Rodriguez says, has always served to benefit the public interest. In that vein, he called the Legislature’s unwillingness to expand Medicaid “the biggest catastrophic failure” by lawmakers during his four years as a state representative.
Mr. Rodriguez believes the state has to do more to improve public education, protect the environment and improve the justice system.
This race will be a close call for some voters, as it has been for some interest groups. Local teachers have endorsed Sen. Diaz de la Portilla. But the statewide teachers union has endorsed Mr. Rodriguez. We also give Mr. Rodriguez the edge. He has shown that he is an engaged and articulate lawmaker, willing to work hard for the right causes and to improve Florida. More Democrats like Mr. Rodriguez in the Florida Senate, where Republicans currently hold a 26-14 margin, would bring a better balance to state government.
For State Senate District 37, the Miami Herald recommends JOSE JAVIER RODRIGUEZ.