The second time was not the charm for Ron Saunders.
The veteran state representative and outgoing Democratic House leader cut his tenure short in the state House to take a long-shot chance to become the first senator from the Keys in 40 years and seek the state Senate seat he had sought eight years ago. He lost, again.
Dwight Bullard, the son of the outgoing Sen. Larcenia Bullard, used the strength of his family name and the heft of his vote-rich Miami district to defeat Saunders. Bullard's strength was in Miami Dade County, where he and his parents have served in the state Legislature for 20 years.
The district, one third of which is African American, is dominated by voters in Miami Dade even though it sprawls from Monroe and into Collier and Hendry Counties.