Both parties have a lot at stake in Miami-Dade's state Senate races
With an already narrow balance of power at stake in the Florida Senate — and the political futures of several incumbents on the line — some of Miami-Dade County’s state Senate races have turned increasingly ugly as Election Day draws closer.
In one race, a Democratic incumbent has been accused of consorting with a Middle Eastern terrorist, and in a couple of others, the candidates have sparred passionately over their policies and potential conflicts of interest.
Voters are already casting ballots in the county’s five races, four of which are competitive. Democrats hope an anti-Donald Trump wave will help boost their candidates’ prospects even further, while Republicans have poured millions of dollars into helping their contenders retain — or in one case, gain — seats.
While Democrats hope Senate seats in Tampa and central Florida could also be pick-ups for them, Miami-Dade County has the highest concentration of consequential races. They are in play this year because of redrawn Senate districts that could affect the Republicans’ 26-14 chamber majority.
Current Republican Sens. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla and Anitere Flores and Democratic Sen. Dwight Bullard all want voters to send them back to Tallahassee, but each is fighting an aggressive opponent angling to unseat them.