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Former North Miami Mayor Kevin Burns to run for Gwen Margolis state senate seat

Former North Miami Mayor Kevin Burns said he filed paperwork today to run for the state Senate after Sen. Gwen Margolis dropped out of the District 38 race in Miami-Dade County

Burns served two terms as mayor from 2005-2009 and was the city’s first openly gay mayor. Burns, a real estate broker, lost a legislative race to Margolis in 2010.

The musical chairs may not be over following Margolis’ decision to drop out last week after she took heat for dismissing some of her Democratic opponents as “Haitians.”

Sen. Dwight Bullard says he is considering switching districts to run for District 38.

“It has been mentioned by party leaders and other electeds about it potentially being a good move for me,” Bullard told the Miami Herald Tuesday. “The demographics speak to the possibility of an African-American candidate more easily winning the seat than the current seat I am in.”

About one-third of the voters in the newly drawn district are black including Haitians and African-Americans.

“Without Haitian support I would have never been elected mayor,” said Burns who is white.

Democrats say Andrew Korge is taking a look at the seat. Bay Harbor Islands Mayor Jordan Leonard said he is also considering a bid.

Other candidates already in the race are small business owner Anis Blemur, former state Rep. Philip Brutus, teacher Don Festge, lawyer Jason Pizzo and state Rep. Daphne Campbell.

Campbell has raised the most through donations -- about $28,000 -- but Pizzo has the largest total pot due to a $200,000 loan.

All of the candidates are Democrats in the left-leaning district.

The five-day qualifying period starts Monday for the Aug. 30 primary.

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