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José Javier Rodríguez endorsed by Congressional Hispanic Caucus

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@alextdaugherty @patriciamazzei

State Sen. José Javier Rodríguez, one of seven Democrats seeking to replace retiring Miami Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, was recently endorsed by the political arm of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, a potential source of campaign cash in a crowded primary field. 

Rodriguez is one of three Democrats nationwide to get CHC's endorsement for the 2018 election cycle. CHC's political arm, chaired by California Rep. Tony Cardenas, has also endorsed a Senate candidate in Nevada and a House candidate in Texas.

During the 2016 cycle, the group raised just over $6 million and between January and March of this year the group raised more than $2 million.

"José Javier has proven he can win tough races," Cardenas said in a fundraising email that will go out to Rodriguez supporters tomorrow. "We need him in Congress to expand access to health care and stand up to Donald Trump in support of a fairer and more inclusive America." 

Six others are vying for the party’s nomination to the rare open seat: former state Judge Mary Barzee Flores, state Rep. David Richardson of Miami Beach, former Knight Foundation director Matt Haggman, Miami Beach Commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez, University of Miami academic adviser Michael Hepburn and Mark Anthony Person. Miami Commissioner Ken Russell is also mulling a run.