Advertisement
  1. Florida Politics
  2. /
  3. The Buzz

Doral Rep. Ana Maria Rodríguez enters crowded race for state Senate seat

“My family and I are ready to embark on what we know will be a hard-fought race”
Ana Maria Rodriguez
Published Jul. 11

State Rep. Ana Maria Rodríguez announced her run for state Senate Thursday, saying in a statement that she was “humbled and honored to announce my candidacy.”

“My family and I are ready to embark on what we know will be a hard-fought race, and we believe our message will resonate with residents of SD 39,” she said.

The Doral Republican is running in the heavily contested race to replace Republican Sen. Anitere Flores, who will be termed out of office next year. Republicans Angie Chirino, a singer and former congressional candidate and attorney Alexandria Suarez have both entered the race, as has Democratic Pinecrest Vice Mayor Anna Hochkammer, who leads the pack in fundraising.

Rodríguez is a political veteran, having served as the vice mayor of Doral and a two-term city councilor before running for the state house. She was elected to the state Legislature in 2018.

A child of Cuban immigrants, Rodríguez has lived in South Florida all her life. Before she got her start in politics, she worked as a lobbyist for the Miami Association of Realtors and Baptist Health South Florida.

Some of her biggest accomplishments in local government included granting Doral city employees paid parental leave and widening roads to reduce traffic. In Tallahassee, she was tapped by House leaders to carry one of several priority health care bills, which was signed into law last month.

She has raised more than $50,000 for her Senate run as of June 25, with major donors including Publix, the Miami-Dade County Republican Party and well-connected state government lobbyist Ron Book (father of Sen. Lauren Book, a Plantation Democrat). Hochkammer has raised more than $126,000 in her attempt to flip SD 39, which covers Monroe County and part of Miami-Dade County.

In a statement Thursday, Hockhammer called out Rodríguez’s voting record in Tallahassee, which included votes to pass a bill allowing teachers to be armed and a bill to ban so-called “sanctuary cities” in Florida.

“I believe in arming teachers with better salaries and our children with an inspiring future that makes them proud to learn and work hard,” Hockhammer wrote. “As a former teacher, and mom of three amazing daughters, I am ready and energized for the journey ahead, and welcome my opponent to the race.”

Herald/Times staff writer Elizabeth Koh contributed from Tallahassee.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran speaks to an unidentified man outside of Tampa Bay Academy Monday, April 15, 2019 in Tampa. CHRIS URSO  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Richard Corcoran has convinced the State Board of Education to sign off on a new funding formula for the 28-college system, which, with more than 320,000 students, is widely viewed as one of the...
  2. Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden campaigns in Miami while visiting Ball & Chain in Little Havana for a meet-and-greet with Hispanic voters on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019. [CARL JUSTE CJUSTE | Miami Herald]
    While candidates vie for votes in Iowa, New Hampshire and other early primary states, the struggle in Florida six months from the primary election is about big money.
  3. A view of the I-275 northbound Sunpass lane at the Skyway Bridge. VRAGOVIC, WILL  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The lost money is from unpaid tolls stemming from problems with the vendor Conduent State & Local Solutions.
  4. Mark. S, Inch, Secretary of the Florida Department of Corrections, at the State Capitol, May, 1, 2019. SCOTT KEELER  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Mark Inch said the root of the problem lies with low salaries and long shifts for prison guards.
  5. Female driver texting on mobile phone while driving. STAR TRIBUNE  |  baona/Star Tribune/TNS
    Police are choosing to issue warnings instead of tickets — so far.
  6. Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, speaks to delegates during the 2019 Massachusetts Democratic Party Convention, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019, in Springfield, Mass. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill) JESSICA HILL  |  AP
    Kimberly Diaz Scott was the Central Florida regional director for Charlie Crist’s 2014 gubernatorial campaign when he ran as a Democrat against Rick Scott.
  7. In this July 22, 2008, photo, traffic passes in front of the New York Times building in New York. MARK LENNIHAN  |  AP
    The allegation stems from their reporting on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
  8. Democratic presidential candidates former Vice President Joe Biden, left, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. talk during a break Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019, during a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by ABC at Texas Southern University in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) DAVID J. PHILLIP  |  AP
    34 percent of Floridians picked the former vice president. Background checks for gun sales saw overwhelming support.
  9. State Rep. Chris Sprowls, 35, addresses the Florida House of Representatives, Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019, in Tallahassee, Fla., after the Republican was elected to lead the 120-member chamber. (AP Photo/Bobby Caina Calvan) BOBBY CAINA CALVAN  |  AP
    The Pinellas Republican did not shy away from the wedge issues of the day, wading into 2020 presidential politics, abortion and climate change.
  10. The Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County identified a positive case of hepatitis A in a food service worker at Hamburger Mary's in Ybor City on Oct. 22, 2018. [JOSH FIALLO | Times] JOSH FIALLO | TIMES  |  JOSH FIALLO | Times
    Slightly more than 200,000 people have been vaccinated this year — a huge jump from the 49,324 people vaccinated in all of 2018.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement