Dem scores upset over Republican in Florida county commissioner race

Dem scores upset over Republican in Florida county commissioner race
© Eileen Higgins

A Democratic candidate for a commission seat in Miami-Dade County, Fla., won a special election Tuesday, beating out a Republican candidate whose husband held the seat for decades.

Eileen Higgins, a Spanish-speaking first-time candidate, won 53 percent of the vote, beating out Zoraida Barreiro, whose husband, Bruno, was a county commissioner for 20 years before resigning to run for Congress, according to the Miami Herald.

Higgins, who is from Ohio, was heavily backed by the Democratic party and was considered the underdog for most of the race given Barreiro’s connection to the seat and high-profile support.

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Barreiro’s campaign was supported by Florida Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioSenate Republicans eye rules change to speed Trump nominees Overnight Defense: Trump unveils new missile defense plan | Dems express alarm | Shutdown hits Day 27 | Trump cancels Pelosi foreign trip | Senators offer bill to prevent NATO withdrawal Bipartisan senators reintroduce bill to prevent Trump from withdrawing from NATO MORE (R), and nearly $100,000 in contributions from her husband’s congressional campaign.

Higgins’ win came in a district with a high concentration of Cuban-American voters, though Barreiro, who is Cuban-born, was expected to gain that support. Higgins was known as “La Gringa” during her campaign.

The Florida Democratic Party hailed Higgins’ victory, saying it was evidence of a “blue wave” in response to the Trump presidency ahead of the midterm elections.

"Eileen Higgins victory made it very clear that no seat is safe in Florida," the party said in a statement. "Today’s victory by Ms. Higgins is further evidence of a blue wave in 2018."