Former state Sen. Alex Diaz de la Portilla, one of the Republican rivals in the race to replace Sen. Frank Artiles, will not appear at a candidate forum at Miami Dade College's Kendall campus Wednesday night.
"I spend my time with my voters not with elites," he told the Miami Herald in a text confirming that he won't attend.
State Rep. Jose Felix Diaz said he will try to attend part of the forum, but it is scheduled the same evening when he will appear at a Univision event about the condo reform bill that he shepherded through this session along with a few other Miami-Dade lawmakers.
Diaz and Portilla didn't appear at a forum June 1 due to scheduling conflicts. The forums provide the rare opportunity for voters to hear multiple candidates at once before the July 25 primary in District 40.
Republican Lorenzo Palomares, a lawyer, will attend the forum along with Democrats Annette Taddeo, a frequent candidate and owner of a translation business, and former state Rep. Ana Rivas Logan.
The format is not a debate -- the candidates will be asked the same set of questions. Generally, the candidates are not going to be given the opportunity to rebut each other unless a candidate attacks another candidate.
Likely topics include the health care legislation, gun safety, restoring felons' voting rights, the environment, and public education. The forum will be moderated by WLRN morning anchor Luis Hernandez.
The event is sponsored by the League of Women Voters. Additional event partners include the Miami Herald, ACLU Florida, Women’s Fund Miami-Dade, YWCA, Kendall Federation of Homeowners, Engage Miami and National Council of Jewish Women Kendall.
Partners have submitted questions in advance but the public can also submit questions on written cards at the forum.
The forum will be held at MDC’s Kendall Campus, Room 6120, 1011 SW 104 St.