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State rep sets off race for Frederica Wilson's seat -- before it becomes open

State Sen. Frederica Wilson hasn't secured a seat in Congress yet. But that isn't stopping at least one person from jumping in an expected race to replace her in the Florida Legislature.

State Rep. Oscar Braynon II, a Miami Gardens Democrat with three years in the state House, announced his candidacy for Wilson's 33rd District seat Friday -- even though is not officially an opening for Wilson's post yet.

“As a member of the State Legislature, I have seen first-hand the tremendous impact that can be made within a community when there is honest, transparent and solid leadership," Braynon said in a written statement. "As the State rebounds from a tumultuous economic climate, I am committed to working hard to ensure that our most vulnerable citizens and underrepresented cities are not left behind.”

Florida does not require elected leaders running for federal office to resign from their exisiting posts, so Wilson, who was not up for re-election this year, did not have to give up her seat to vie for a spot in Congress. Only if she defeats lawyer Roderick Vereen, who is running without party affiliation, in November would Wilson have to resign. And then, depending on how long is left on her term, which expires in 2012, would the governor appoint someone to the vacancy or call for a special election to replace her.

UPDATE: Thanks to a sharp reader for pointing out that the governor cannot appoint someone to fill a vacancy in the Florida Senate, as the governor's office had originally told us this morning. (The governor can fill vacancies in the House, depending on how much time is left in a term.) If Wilson resigns, a special election will be held for her seat.


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The governor does not appoint a legislative seat. It is against the seperation of powers in our state's constitution.

True Blue

Oscar, just make sure that you have a very attractive hat and you'll be a sure winner.

elizabeth judd

Question? Why was Senator Wilson not required to resign to run for Congress since, others like Alix Desulme was required to resign his position as Clerk of North Miami?

Jim Johnson

"The governor can fill vacancies in the House, depending on how much time is left in a term."

No he can't.

The Florida Constitution provides:

(d) ASSUMING OFFICE; VACANCIES. Members of the legislature shall take office upon election. Vacancies in legislative office shall be filled only by election as provided by law.

(Art III, Sect 15)

Jim Johnson

Elizabeth - Florida's resign to run law was changed a couple of years ago so that no one has to resign to run for a Federal office. It was assumed at the time it would allow Governor Crist to be John McCain's VP candidate without having to resign as Governor.

Will Foote, Jr.

Does Sen. Wilson have to resign immediately following her election? Then the governor calls a special election in 60 days.>>>>>>January spl. election!

Or does Sen. Wilson wait until January, just prior to her assuming office in Washington, then the Governor calls a special election in March?>>>> After the Florida legislative session starts!


You would think the Senator would spare the cost of a special election by resigning now so it could be held in conjunction with the November election?

Oh wait, that would require having some integrity.....

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