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Asencio says no to running for Florida Senate



State Rep. Robert Asencio said no Friday to running for the Florida Senate seat left vacant by Frank Artiles, noting he's a freshman with only on legislative session under his belt.

"While it is a tremendous opportunity, I must be congizant of the fact that I have only recently been elected to state office by the will of the voters in House District 118, and it is to them who I am beholden," Asencio said in a statement. "Moreover, there are many critical issues in the Florida House that I want and will continue to fight for: stopping the wanton gutting of public education, fair wages for working families, to name a few."

Asencio, a Miami Democrat, had mulled a candidacy, knowing his House district is competitive and Republicans hope to win it back in 2018. He decided against a run on the same day Rep. Daisy Baez, D-Coral Gables, dropped out of the contest. Both would have had to announce their House resignations by Saturday, 10 days before the start of the May 30 candidate qualification deadline for the ballot.