Ana Rivas Logan leaning toward state Senate run in Miami-Dade district
Former state lawmaker and Miami-Dade School Board member Ana Rivas Logan said she's considering coming out of political retirement because she doesn't want to risk Florida Democrats losing a Senate seat in Miami-Dade County to, what she called, a "Trump Republican."
Rivas Logan -- a former Republican who switched to the Democratic Party in 2014 -- is mulling a run for Senate District 40, where current Sen. Dwight Bullard, D-Cutler Bay, is facing state Rep. Frank Artiles, R-Miami. Independent Mario Jimenez is also running for the seat.
Rivas Logan says she doesn't expect to make a final decision on her potential candidacy for a couple weeks, but right now "I'm leaning 'yes,'" she said Tuesday.
"I'm very comfortable with what I'm doing now" such as spending time with her family and staying involved in education issues and community activities, Rivas Logan said. "To get back in the game would be a total change of my lifestyle. But I’m so strongly opposed to Trump Republicans, that it just turns my stomach."
"Trump Republican" is how she describes Artiles, who's forgoing a re-election bid in the House for a chance at the Senate.
But challenging Artiles would mean Rivas Logan would first have to face Bullard in the Aug. 30 Democratic primary.
Bullard is seeking re-election in the newly redrawn District 40 after Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Miami, agreed to move to nearby District 39 for her re-election bid to avoid an awkward contest between the two sitting senators.
District 40 includes parts of central Miami-Dade County. It's heavily Hispanic and favors a Democrat. Almost 55 percent of the district voted for Barack Obama in 2012.
Rivas Logan said she doesn't take the idea of challenging a fellow Democrat lightly, but she believes she'd have a better shot at beating Artiles.
"I do not want to run against Dwight Bullard," Rivas Logan said. "I think he’s a nice guy, a great guy. But I do not want Frank Artiles to win either. I’m really torn here."
Rivas Logan pointed to indicators that Bullard is vulnerable.
For instance, he is apparently struggling to raise campaign funds. In April, he raised just $2,600, compared to $39,200 that Artiles took in. Heading in to May, Artiles had $238,000 in cash on hand, while Bullard had less than $22,000.
Rivas Logan also cited an "encouraging" poll released Monday, which found her up on Bullard by 20 points in a potential Democratic primary match-up.
The telephone poll of 470 registered general election voters and likely primary voters in District 40 was conducted by Public Policy Polling on April 27 and 28. FloridaPolitics.com first reported the results, and PPP provided a copy to the Herald/Times.
About 44 percent of those surveyed identified as Democrats, 41 percent as Republicans and 15 percent said they were independents.
Of the 46 percent of those surveyed who said they planned to vote in the Democratic primary, 44 percent said they would support Rivas Logan, 24 percent would support Bullard and 33 percent were undecided.
In hypothetical head-to-head match-ups against Artiles, the poll found both Bullard and Rivas Logan had slightly more support than Artiles -- with about a quarter of those surveyed undecided in both general election scenarios.
Rivas Logan's lead over Artiles was five percentage points, while Bullard's was two percentage points. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points, PPP said.
"I’m hoping that Dwight Bullard sees the numbers and recognizes how tough it’s going to be, if not impossible, to beat Artiles and to support me in the process," Rivas Logan said this morning.
Bullard could not be reached for comment and a message left on his cell phone wasn't immediately returned.
Rivas Logan served on the Miami-Dade School Board from 2004 to 2010. She was then elected to the Florida House in 2010 but lost her re-election race in 2012, after redistricting drew her into the same district as Republican state Rep. Jose Felix Diaz.