Updated: Post-redistricting deal: Flores to move, Bullard 'stays put'
The Senate's surrender of its legal fight over redistricting this week allowed Sen. Anitere Flores and Sen. Dwight Bullard, both who reside in the new District 40, to decide where they will land in November.
Bullard, D-Cutler Bay, will stay in District 40, while Flores will move to the now-open District 39, which includes her mother's home and Westchester which is in her current district, Flores said Friday.
"Dwight and I had an opportunity to talk early this week and while we're from different parties, we've been colleagues a long time,'' she told the Herald/Times. "It was the best decision for us and for my family. It'll be fun and different, and a challenge to get elected to a new area."
District 40 includes a large Hispanic population and big swaths of her current district but the district also leans Democratic in presidential election years, having supported President Obama over Mitt Romney in 2012.
Bullard, D-Cutler Bay, will now run in that district while Flores will move to the now-open District 39, which also supported Obama by 52.6 percent in 2012. But has Flores secured a promise that no Democrat will challenge her?
"I haven't gotten that request yet,'' said Sen. Oscar Braynon, the incoming Senate Democratic Leader who lives in Miami Gardens. "The way things are with Trump at the top of the ticket, I would be open to that but there are still factors -- like who declares where and who are the candidates that come to us and it will be more of an allocation of resources than anything. If I have a chance to go after seats that perform better for us, this district may not make my Top 10."
Flores said that with voters registered with no party affiliation making up most of Miami-Dade County, "NPA is what decides elections so one has to be a candidate who can talk to independent voters."
Meanwhile, Flores also will likely be able to stave off opposition by the sheer size of her campaign war chest. Her political committee has raised $388,056 in 2015 and another $48,000 in the week before the legislative session began this year.