Democrat candidates to speak at South Dade Dems event

The program allocates one hour for the speakers, but Ladra bets the election2016Democrats of South Dade Club meeting Tuesday goes late.

That’s because there are no fewer than eight blue party candidates — one congressional, one state senate wannabe and six House hopefuls — on the schedule. And who knows how many more will just show up to say hi?

Most interesting on the program is Florida Senate candidate Ana Rivas Logan, a former Republican state rep who finally threw her hat in against Sen. Dwight Bullard in the District 40 primary as Ladra suggested and predicted months ago. Was Bullard not available? Or are the South Ana Rivas LoganDade Dems among those who don’t think he can beat State Rep. Frank Artiles in November and want to bet on Rivas instead?

Can you say awkward?

In fact, the only incumbent at Tuesday’s forum is State Rep. Kionne McGhee, who is unopposed (sure, there’s an NPA who opened an account, but she has reported raising no money and Ladra doubts she will even qualify). He almost doesn’t have to speak and can give his time to his party mates.

The other five are:

  • Daisy Baez, who is running for the open seat in District 114 left vacated by the term-limited Erik Fresen. It is her second run after getting 44 percent in 2014 with about half his money. There is another Democrat named Albert Santana in the primary, but while he has loaned himself $42,000, threedemhousehe does not look like much of a challenge to Baez, who many expect to turn the seat blue this year.
  • Ross Hancock, who wants to run in District 115 against State Rep. Michael Bileca but may face a primary challenge against Jeffrey “Doc” Solomon, who most recently failed a bid for Pinecrest Village Council.
  • Robert Asencio, a former Miami-Dade Schools Police lieutenant, is running in the seat vacated by Artiles’ dash for the Senate. The longtime public employee advocate — who has traveled to Tallahassee as president and founder of Florida Public Employees Partnership to advocate against pension reform — is the only Dem running in that race, which has five Republicans listed as potential foes, including former Congressman David Rivera and former Miami-Dade Commissioner Lynda Bell.
  • Kevin Diaz, one of two Democrats running in District 120 against Holly Raschein. He’s a Miami attorney who grew up in Homestead.
  • Daniel Horton, the other Democrat running in District 120, after switching from the Democratic Senate primary in District 39 against Andrew Korge.

That’s from the program. Ladra would not be surprised if Solomon and Santana showed up.

And let’s not forget the congressional candidate, Scott Fuhrman, who is going up against the least vulnerable Republican around, U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who hasn’t had a challenge in, well, has she ever? Fuhrman may have an unfortunate name (any relation to Mark of OJ fame?) and rap sheet (several college arrests, a DUI and a kendalldemslogofleeing the scene of an accident), but he also has $250,000 burning a hole in his pocket and the Democratic Party’s support in a year when they hope the toxicity of Donald Trump helps them win seats when GOP voters stay home.

Now, how are these eight candidates going to speak in one hour’s time? Ah, because the Kendall Dems have Bob Goldstein, the longtime club president, who has experience cutting politicos off mid-speech.

The event at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Miami, 7701 S.W. 76th Ave., begins with social time at 7 p.m., followed by club business at 7:30. The candidates will start speaking about 8 p.m.

But don’t hold them to the 9 p.m. end time. Bob’s good but there are bound to be questions from the audience.