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Dolphins owner recruiting candidates to run against Miami lawmakers who opposed stadium bid

@PatriciaMazzei

Stephen Ross, the Miami Dolphins owner who vowed to avenge his political loss in Tallahassee earlier this year, is recruiting candidates to run against two lawmakers who opposed using public dollars to partly fund a $350 million renovation to Sun Life Stadium, the Miami Herald has learned.

Ross' political group, Florida Jobs First, is reaching out to potential candidates to pose primary challenges to GOP state Reps. Michael Bileca and Carlos Trujillo. They were perhaps the most strident opponents to the football club's proposal, which died when the Florida House failed to take a floor vote on Dolphins-backed legislation.

A spokesman for Ross' group confirmed to the Herald that the group is actively looking for candidates, though he would not identify the candidates.

"After hearing from many in the community who were upset by those who stood in the way of jobs for Miami-Dade, we have been talking to several potential candidates to challenge Trujillo and Bileca," Eric Jotkoff said.

So far, Ross' group has focused its efforts on Hispanic women in Southwest Miami-Dade, particularly members of the county's community councils that handle zoning issues, the Herald has learned.

"It's a free country," Trujillo said. "It's a democracy. Hopefully they'll find a good candidate and raise them lots and lots of money, and we'll let the voters decide."

In the past two months, Ross' group has mailed fliers attacking Bileca, Trujillo and a third Miami Republican, state Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, accusing them of blocking jobs for local residents. The pieces make no mention of the Dolphins or their short-lived proposal to raise the hotel-tax rate and obtain a state sales-tax subsidy to upgrade the team's Miami Gardens stadium.

On Wednesday, House Speaker Will Weatherford, the Wesley Chapel Republican who has publicly criticized Ross for targeting the Miami trio, announced that Trujillo next year will chair the chamber's economic development and tourism subcommittee. The appointment effectively ensures that if the Dolphins intended pursue their legislative agenda again in Tallahassee in 2014, those efforts will go nowhere.

Comments

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Alberto

We the voters will have the last decision.Alberto

D

If investing in sports stadiums is such a good investment then he should not have any problems getting private investors to re-hab the stadium........

David Freer

The best democracy $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ can buy!

R Jones

As a season ticket holder from year one, I will keep my tickets but this type of politics doesn't work for me. Mr. Ross you are a big boy so rebuild you own stadium. No one pay for my business renovations when I need them. My donation will go to Reps. Michael Bileca and Carlos Trujillo for their reelection.

mike

What a jerk. Doesn't he have anything better to do? Thankfully he didn't get the money..Hit the road jack. Great way to win back the fans, douche

R.T. Griffin

Rather than get candidates , he needs to allow shares of the stadium and team to the citizens of Miami. Why is it these so called big wigs ( team owners and Mayors) feel like the COMMON CITIZEN cannot read or write , or do SIMPLE MATH ????? You want our vote , give us something besides pretty pictures , and pipe dreams of a winning season , and jobs . Allow the citizens of Miami to be 2/3 owners of the team and stadium. Enter into a contract with Miami that the team cannot leave the stadium or the South Florida area for atleast 20 yrs ,renewal every 19th yr ..... Keeps the team from being sold or leaving Miami with a empty football stadium . ----- Think Ross ----

Eddie Nunez

What a idiot. Obviously next move is to move Dolphins anywhere north of the South Florida.PLEASE.

Ed Jenkins

This guy is trying to beat Luria for the most hated owner in town. What a jerk. If he doesn't like his stadium then either spend his own money or sell the team. We taxpayers aren't here to subsidize his investment just like I don't have people buying machines for my business to run.

ken

This country is a republic not a democracy

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