Things are going very badly for the Republicans. In race after race, they are losing seats, and Donald Trump’s soulless baby jails and haphazard Trumpville tent cities for other kids are killing the GOP’s chances to retake elections. This is the latest Democratic take-down.
Eileen Higgins decided to enter politics. Then, the first-time candidate brought home a seat on the Miami-Dade County Commission.
She sent out a tweet calling her community “incredible:”
She took down the better-funded wife of the former commissioner, Zoraida Barreiro, in a heavily Hispanic Miami district. The newcomer winner was a Spanish-speaking native of Ohio.
Higgins won by a total of six points. She called herself “La Gringa.” In her acceptance speech over her Cuban-born opponent before a crowded room of her campaign volunteers, The Miami Herald reported that she said:
‘Well, we did it. When I got started, it really was about making sure that our neighborhood, our friends, our neighbors, and the rest of the county felt represented. And that we put people first, rather than special interests.’
The Florida Republican Party released this statement, according to the Miami Herald:
‘Eileen Higgins victory made it very clear that no seat is safe in Florida. Today’s victory by Ms. Higgins is further evidence of a blue wave in 2018.’
Chair of the Miami-Dade Republican Party, Nelson Diaz said:
‘I think there’s no turning back now. It’s almost like an arms race.’
A Democratic pollster who supported Higgins, Fernand Amandi, said:
‘This is a transformational election. This is an election where you had an unknown defeat two of the titular Cuban dynasties in local politics. and it wasn’t even close.’
Barreiro claimed that one reason she lost was due to the Democrats targeting her husband’s congressional campaign. He left this seat of 20 years to run for Congress, leaving it open for his wife. She said:
‘It’s always been about my husband. From day one. It was always about District 27, not District 5. Which is a shame, because this is a race about the county. About the issues that we were facing. It should never have been about parties.’
In her election speech, Higgins said:
‘I hope to make you proud as a commissioner. And to make fair decisions during this next term.’
The Republicans enlisted Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) to put out robo-calls and endorse mailers. Barreiro’s top donor also supported her husband, “with at least $95,000 in contributions.”
Voter turnout was up, and there are more Democrats in the district than Republicans. In the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton (D) won District 5 by double digits.
The Florida Democratic Party linked Higgins to the blue-wave surge against Trump. One of her mailers featured the commander-in-chief and his children and spoke of “dynasties.”
Both Republicans and Democrats considered District 5 as a “milestone,” the Miami Herald reported:
‘Advocates on both sides saw the District 5 race as a milestone for nonpartisan county contests starting to be fought along partisan lines. Nelson Diaz, chairman of the Miami-Dade Republican Party, said the GOP had no choice but to follow suit after Democrats poured resources into the race. He sees more proxy battles to come.’
Featured Image via Getty Images/Chip Somovdevilla.