Apathy or Intimidation? Uncontested Seats in Florida House & Senate

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Rizo Avila

Bryan Avila was expected to win the Florida State Senate seat formerly held by Manny Diaz, Jr. who is now the Florida Commissioner of Education.  He is widely popular and well regarded by the Community.  However, no one attempted to run against Bryan by Friday’s deadline to run.  That means Bryan automatically takes the Senate seat as no one contested him.

Bryan Avila thanks the Community
Bryan Avila thanks the Community.  Bryan with his beautiful family in front of the Curtiss Mansion in Miami Springs.

Beating Bryan Avila would have been very difficult as he has great name recognition and good will within the community.  It also doesn’t hurt when the City of Miami Springs virtually endorsed the candidate when he announced his run for the Senate seat.  Endorsing a political candidate while running for office is not something our municipality should be doing.  As we’ve stated before, we really like Avila and the work he’s done.  But the City of Miami Springs should not use its tax dollars, man hours, and resources to endorse a candidate or meddle in an election.

Florida District 111 Map
Florida District 111 Map

Interestingly, we looked at the social media accounts for the Village of Virginia Gardens, the City of Hialeah, and the City of Miami to see if they had made a similar endorsement of Bryan Avila after he had filed to run for the State Senate.  Here’s what we found:

  • Village of Virginia Gardens:  No use of social media to endorse Bryan Avila for Senate
  • City of Hialeah:  No use of social media to endorse Bryan Avila for Senate
  • City of Miami:  No use of social media to endorse Bryan Avila for Senate

In other words, it seems only the City of Miami Springs used its tax funded resources and platforms to support a candidate during his run.  Even though many of us like Bryan Avila and think he’s going to do a great job as a Florida Senator, the City of Miami Springs needs to stop meddling in elections.  (This wasn’t the first time the administration has meddled in an election.)

Florida House Seat 111

As Bryan Avila moves from House Seat 111 to the State Senate, the question was, who’s going to run for Bryan Avila’s old seat?  Well, only one person ran for Florida House Seat 111 and that person was Alex Rizo.  No one else qualified to run against Rizo for district 111 by Friday’s deadline.  So you won’t have a chance to vote for or against him as we have no choice.  We appreciate Rizo’s efforts to run to represent our community, but we believe we are better served when more people from within the community choose to run as it gives the citizenry more choices.

Florida House Representative Alex Rizo
Florida House Representative Alex Rizo

Well, now that Alex Rizo is our representative, let’s learn more about him.  The first thing to understand is that Alex Rizo is not new to the Florida House of Representatives.  We was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2020 to serve neighboring district 110.  We’re not sure if Alex moved into our district or if there was a change in the map that put Rizo in our district.  (We’ll check on that later.).

Florida House Representative Alex Rizo
Florida House Representative Alex Rizo

According to the State of Florida House of Representatives website, Rizo graduated from Hialeah High in 1985.  He has attended the University of Miami, Florida International University, Nova, the Harvard Graduate School of Education, National Institute for Ubran School Leaders.

Alex Rizo
Alex Rizo

Alex Rizo is a Republican who also served as Miami-Dade Community Council 5, Vice Chair, from 2015 – 2020.

Apathy or Intimidation?

Rizo Avila

We’re just now getting to know Alex Rizo and we’ve known Bryan Avila for quite some time.  We congratulate them both on their new seats.  Nevertheless, the voters did not get an opportunity to choose their representatives in either seat.  Did others not run because of apathy or intimidation to run against established Republicans?  We don’t know why some people didn’t choose to run for either seat.  We know that democracy is best served when individuals sacrifice time from their families and personal lives to serve their communities.  And for that we are grateful to soon to be Senator Bryan Avila and Representative Alex Rizo.

As always, feel free to share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section at the bottom of this page or via social media.

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