State Rep. Daisy Baez’s short-lived candidacy for the Florida Senate came to end Friday, doomed politically by a crowded Democratic primary and the likelihood that she’d be attacked as a carpetbagger.
Baez dropped out of the race for Senate District 40 just 19 days after it began, citing her ailing mother’s deteriorating health.
“My life today is a direct reflection of my mother’s decision to immigrate to this country and work multiple jobs to ensure that I could live the American Dream,” Baez, who is Dominican-American, said in a statement. “Just after announcing my intention to run for the Florida Senate, my mother’s health deteriorated and it became clear to me that spending time with her now is of the utmost importance. As her daughter, caring for her is my number one priority. Therefore, I will not pursue a campaign for the Florida Senate.”
On Tuesday, the Miami Herald reported Baez appears to live outside her House district, which would violate a Florida constitutional requirement. Then came a Democratic poll that showed Baez, a freshman lawmaker, trailing far behind her primary rivals, businesswoman Annette Taddeo and former state Rep. Ana Rivas Logan.
Democrats pressured Baez to reconsider her candidacy, which would have left vacant a competitive House seat eyed by Republicans. A loss might have also damaged the chances for Baez, a well-liked U.S. Army vet, to run for higher office in the future.
“I will spend the upcoming weeks with my family and continue to use my voice in the Florida House to speak out clearly and forcefully to fight for better jobs, to protect our environment, to ensure we all have access to affordable health care, and to support our public schools,” Baez’s statement said.
Photo credit: Scott Keeler, Tampa Bay Times