Carlos Lopez-Cantera, a former state lawmaker who rose from relative obscurity as Miami-Dade County property appraiser to become next-in-line to the Florida governor, will pursue the U.S. Senate seat now filled by one of his close friends, Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio.
“I’m running so that they can live in the kind of country that gave my Cuban family the blessings of liberty and freedom that only the United States of America offers,” Lopez-Cantera said of his two daughters at his campaign kickoff Wednesday. “I’m running so that your children can have the same opportunities.”
Casting himself as an outsider, he offered a platform familiar to voters who paid attention to last year’s gubernatorial campaign. Lopez-Cantera hit the same points as when he ran with Gov. Rick Scott — job creation and tax reduction — though he also touched on foreign-policy issues crucial to South Florida voters: defending democracy in Cuba and Venezuela and improving relations with Israel.
“CLC!” chanted the largely Cuban-American crowd, using Lopez-Cantera’s initials and legislative nickname.
This post has been updated.