Frederica Wilson is seeking her seventh term in Congress

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Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, founder of the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project, speaks during her scholarship ceremony Sunday, June 5, 2022 at the Adrienne Arsht Center in downtown Miami. Wilson started the program in 1993.

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Three candidates, one Democrat and two Republicans, are running to unseat incumbent U.S. Representative Frederica Wilson in the 24th congressional district. The 79-year-old Democrat has been well-established in the constituency since her election in 2010.

District 24 encompasses much of northeast and north-central Miami-Dade County, including North Miami, Miami Gardens, parts of Miami Beach, Aventura, and a slice of south-central Broward County.

Wilson is seeking his seventh term in Congress. Prior to her time in Congress, she served in the Florida Senate from 2003 to 2010 and the Florida House from 1998 to 2002.

His Democratic opponent in the Aug. 23 primary is Kevin Harris, a 36-year-old Miami-Dade police dispatcher. Harris said people were ready for a change, and they were tired and frustrated with the status quo with current reps.

“I’m an underdog, I’m new to this game, so I don’t have the insider mentality,” Harris said. “I’m not part of the game. I don’t have anyone I feel like I owe anything to, so I’m not bought off. I am uncompromising.

Harris has no political experience and this is his first bid for public office. Harris was born in North Miami and is an alumnus of FIU. Some key issues and policies Harris would address if elected are climate change, inflation and term limits for Supreme Court justices.

Harris raised $20,891.22 and spent $17,970.00 on Wednesday.

Photo by Kevin Harris
Kevin Harris is a candidate for Congress in Florida’s 24th district. Photo provided by Kevin Harris

Wilson, whose bright and dazzling cowboy hats and style are an integral part of the congresswoman’s image, was born in Miami and served in several positions as a lawmaker. Wilson said she will continue to tackle issues such as reducing inflation, women’s right to choose, LGBTQ+ rights and student loan debt.

“I’m running to keep delivering for families,” Wilson said. “I’ve always been fueled by and for the people in my community, and it shows.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ reshuffling of districts favoring black candidates was vicious, Wilson said. There were four districts in Florida that were eligible to elect black candidates with the old Congressional card, and now there are only two left, she said. Wilson said it hurts the delivery of projects and services to the African-American community.

Wilson raised $413,896 and spent $219,625.07 on Wednesday.

Two Republican candidates

In the Republican primary, Lavern Spicer is running against Jesus Navarro.

Spicer, a 56-year-old small business owner, said she is coming forward to give a voice to the people. She said Wilson only “passed the steps” to make it look like she did things in the office.

“We don’t need them in office acting like fucking celebrities, forgetting about the voters who voted for them,” Spicer said. “The reason I believe I could win is because people are tired of people going through stages and acting like they’re helping people.”

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Lavern Spicer is a Republican primary candidate for Florida’s 24th congressional district. Photo courtesy of Lavern Spicer

Curley’s House Hope Relief food bank is one of Spicer’s small businesses. She started the program in 1999. The food bank is a community program, Spicer said, for those in need or homeless. He also works with foster care agencies.

Spicer has no political background. She said some of the political issues she would address if elected are support for the police, small businesses and housing affordability.

“I really don’t care about being a politician. What I want to be is a public servant who is there to help people and get them the help they need,” Spicer said.

Spicer raised $205,850.81 and spent $204,420.87 on Wednesday.

Navarro, a 34-year-old employee of MobilityWorks, an equipment supplier in Miami Dade County, said the country was not moving in the right direction and too few people were stepping forward to change things.

Navarro is an alumnus of Nova Southeastern University and has no political background. Navarro said his opponents aren’t fighting issues that are happening right now, like rising gas prices. If elected, he said he would address issues such as high school and college graduation rates and median household income.

Portrait of Jesus Navarro
Jesus Navarro is a Republican primary candidate for Florida’s 24th congressional district. Photo courtesy of Jesus Navarro

“I really feel like we live in a better state than most. We are truly in a blessed state because we are under great leadership,” Navarro said. “We have to speak out against these things because the country is not moving in the right direction. That’s not OK, and it has a lot to do with Democratic leadership. »

Navarro is self-funding his campaign, he said.

Early voting for the primary begins Aug. 8 in Miami-Dade and Aug. 13 in Broward. The general election is November 8.

This story was originally published July 29, 2022 4:22 p.m.

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