Cuban American Democrats event to highlight 12 Miami-Dade candidates for local, state, federal office

Members of South Florida’s Cuban American community will be able to head into this weekend with more information on a dozen Democratic candidates now seeking local, state and federal office.

This Friday, the Cuban American Democrats will host a 6:30 p.m. get-together at Beat Culture Brewery in Miami where attendees can express their concerns and learn about the positions of 12 Democratic candidates before the Aug. 23 Primary elections.

Miami state Sen. Annette Taddeo, who is running to unseat Republican U.S. Rep. María Elvira Salazar but must first defeat Miami City Commissioner Ken Russell in the Democratic Primary, tops the group’s list of featured guests.

Other participants include Robert Asencio, a former state Representative now running to challenge Republican U.S. Rep. Carlos Giménez in Florida’s 28th Congressional District; Christine Olivo, the lone Democrat challenging Republican U.S. Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart in Congressional District 26; Agriculture Commissioner candidate Ryan Morales; state Senate candidates Janelle Perez and Raquel Pacheco; state House candidates Adam Benna, James Cueva, Ashley Gantt and Gabriel Gonzalez; Miami Springs Councilman Victor Vazquez, who is running to represent District 6 on the Miami-Dade County Commission; and former Miami-Dade League of Women Voters President Maribel Balbin, who is running for the Miami-Dade Public School Board.

“For anyone paying attention, it’s clear that the 2022 election cycle is shaping up to be very critical, especially in Florida where Republicans are attacking freedoms we may have taken for granted, such as women’s right to choose, the right to marry who we want to marry, and the freedom to attend public school free from religion,” Cuban American Democrats personnel wrote on the event’s webpage.

“As gun violence continues to permeate society, Democrats are the only ones offering solutions. Cost of living continues to climb, and Republicans seem to shield off any pragmatic legislation that Democrats propose to curb inflation and address the concerns of the American people. An authoritarian Gov. Ron DeSantis will be running for re-election, and he is shaping up to be (Donald) Trump 2.0. Local elections will make the difference.”

While every race featured at the event is pivotal, the group highlighted the two Senate races as being particularly important. In Senate District 36, Pacheco will take on incumbent Republican Sen. Ileana Garcia, a co-founder of Latinas for Trump who won office in 2020 with less than 35 votes in a race later revealed to involve a “ghost candidate scheme” that has since led to criminal charges. Garcia, however, has not been implicated.

Meanwhile in Senate District 38, Perez is squaring off against fellow first-time candidate Alexis Calatayud, a former staffer of Republican Miami Rep. Vance Aloupis, for the seat Taddeo is vacating to run for Congress.

Republicans are “arming their campaigns with misleading information,” said Cuban American Democrats President Horacio Sierra, who stressed how vital it is for members of the community to meet and gauge the earnestness of candidates in person.

“The best way to combat the lies being spread on social media is with one-on-one interaction with the candidates, and with other Democratic Party members,” he said in a statement. “Fostering deep ties between Cuban Americans is at the heart of our club, and our positions generally reflect that of the majority of voters.”

Click here for more information and/or to register for the free event.

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