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Race for Florida Senate District 35 already heating up

State Rep. David Richardson is running for the Florida Senate, he announced Monday on the Gray Zone politics show on 880AM.

Richardson, a Miami Beach Democrat, told Gray Zone host Fred Menachem that he plans to seek the seat currently held by Sen. Gwen Margolis.

Margolis, a Democrat whose career in the Florida Legislature began in 1974 and includes a stint as Senate president, has filed to run for re-election in 2016. But she told the Herald/Times that she is on the fence about her candidacy.

"It depends on how I'm feeling," she said Monday. "I'm getting older. If I'm feeling well, I'll stay [in politics]. If I realize that the time has come, I'll call it a day. I can't say positively one way or another. It is something that I have to really think about."

Richardson, a certified public accountant and Florida's first openly gay state legislator, was first elected in 2012. He represents House District 113, which includes Miami Beach, North Bay Village, downtown Miami and East Little Havana.

He will serve as Democratic floor leader during the 2015 session.

On Monday, Richardson told the Gray Zone he was excited about the opportunity to run for the upper chamber.

"It's not going to be easy," he said. "It is going to be a lot of work. It's a huge district."

There may be another candidate: Andrew Korge.

Korge, a top Democratic fundraiser and activist from Coral Gables, said he has been "meeting with family, friends, voters and community leaders to explore the possibility of running for the Florida Senate in District 35."

"I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and inspired by the strong desire to build a bench of Democrats who can change the tide in Tallahassee," he said, adding that he intends to make a decision in early February.  

He has already given thought to a potential platform.

"As a third generation Miamian and father of two young children, what compels me to run is the need to remodel Florida's lagging education system to prepare our kids and empower working families to compete in the 21st century economy, facilitate a culture where entrepreneurs can thrive, and protect our vital ecosystem and beautiful coastline," he said.