UPDATED Andrew Korge to run for Florida Senate, setting up potential match-up against David Richardson
Andrew Korge, the son of prominent Miami Democratic fundraiser Chris Korge, intends to run for the Florida Senate whenever incumbent Gwen Margolis' seat becomes open.
Margolis is term-limited in 2020, and that's the race for which Korge said he has filed his candidacy. But should Margolis retire in 2016, Korge indicated he will run then. His father is close to Hillary Clinton, the Democrats' likely presidential nominee next year.
"If she decides to qualify in 2016 I stand ready to knock on doors and support Sen. Margolis in every possible way," Andrew Korge said in a statement. "If she chooses an alternate path and the seat becomes available, I will be prepared."
That could set up a 2016 Democratic battle royale between Korge and state Rep. David Richardson of Miami Beach, Florida's first openly gay lawmaker.
Richardson announced in January that he would run for Margolis' seat. At the time, Margolis, 80, said she didn't know if she would seek reelection, though she has an open 2016 campaign account. District 35 spans the eastern edge of Miami-Dade County, from south of Cutler Bay to Golden Beach. She did not immediately respond to a reporter's call Wednesday.
Richardson said in a statement that he would back Margolis -- and presumably back out of the race until 2020 -- if she runs for re-election. That suggests Richardson filed earlier this year assuming Margolis would retire but perhaps got ahead of himself by not letting her make that announcement on her own.
"She has my unwavering support as she charts her path forward, including my endorsement if she qualifies for re-election," Richardson's statement said. "With the legislative session under way, I am focused on fighting for the issues that will grow our middle class and help Floridians have a better quality of life, strengthen our public education and provide access to quality and affordable health care."
Korge's filing papers have yet to appear on the Florida division of elections website. But he already has a campaign site of his own -- which, needless to say, is unusual for a candidate who expects his race to take place in five years. Richardson has a website as well.
"As a 3rd generation Miamian and father of two young children, and after speaking with voters all across the district, it is abundantly clear that we need to remodel our lagging education system to prepare our kids and empower working families to compete in the 21st century economy," Korge said. "We need to facilitate a culture where entrepreneurs can thrive and build the next Google in our own backyard."
Richardson has raised about $85,000 for the race -- and lent himself $100,000. Margolis, of Miami, has about $26,000 in reported contributions so far.
This post has been updated to include Richardson's comments.