Miami City Commissioner Ken Russell announced on Thursday that he is running for the Democratic nomination to challenge U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., in 2022.
First elected to his current post in 2015, Russell showcased his background as he launched his campaign.
“My story – and my road into politics – is a little different than most folks,” Russell noted. “After my dad served in World War II, he married a Japanese woman – my mom. They started a business, and traveled the world. My father was working in Cuba when Castro’s regime overthrew the government, seizing all of my father’s assets and forcing them to flee the country. They settled in Miami, where they raised my brother and me. And that’s where I launched my watersports business, allowing me to see the world.
“My wife and I were raising our family here in Florida, happily growing our business. But then we realized the park across the street – where our young girls played – was contaminated and the city wasn’t doing anything about it. I wanted to fix it but wasn’t sure how. So I mobilized my neighbors, and we got it done. It was all about the end product. Not who got the credit.
With encouragement from the community, I ran for local office without money or name recognition, or any insider support to speak of. The pundits scoffed at my chances, but in the end – we won,” Russell continued. “Over the last six years, I’ve used my position to help tackle other murky problems – sea level rise, toxic algae, a minimum wage that was too low to live on. And sometimes putting my hands to a chainsaw and cleaning up after a hurricane.”
The new candidate then took aim at Rubio.
“Now I am running for U.S. Senate to take on Florida’s biggest problem yet: Marco Rubio. It’s far past time Florida residents were given a strong voice in Congress who isn’t beholden to what Mitch McConnell wants — and I’m ready to step up one more time for my neighbors to be that voice,” Russell insisted.
Russell won his current seat by an impressive margin in 2015, taking 41 percent in a nine-candidate field. While he briefly ran for Congress in 2018, he quickly left the race and ran for a second term, taking 60 percent in a four-candidate field in 2019.
The new candidate joined U.S. Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., and former U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., in the Democratic primary.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.