Election 2016, News

Candidates for Florida State Representative campaign at Coral Gables Library, stress importance of down-ballot voting

Supporters of candidates Daisy Baez and John Couriel encourage voters to elect their candidate to represent Florida State district 114. Marcus Lim // Assistant News Editor

Supporters of candidates Daisy Baez and John Couriel encourage voters to elect their candidate to represent Florida State district 114. Marcus Lim // Assistant News Editor

Living in the shadow of the widely-talked about presidential race, candidates for Florida State Representative appeared at the Coral Gables Library to promote themselves and secure much-needed votes on the last day of elections.

Candidates Daisy Baez and John Couriel are running against each other for state representative of Florida House District 114. Making a presence known at the voting location, Baez, Couriel and their supporters hoped to convince voters that they should not only focus on the presidential election but on items down the ballot that impact local politics.

“People are paying a lot of attention to the national races and not enough to local races, and the local races really impact your day-to-day life,” Baez said. “They are the people making decisions that will have an impact on your children and family.

Baez, a U.S. Army veteran, was actively involved in the healthcare industry and acted as a community activist. She said she hopes, if elected, to advance economic development that preserves the heritage of the community, address women’s rights and work to fund and reform education.

“There are many things that state representatives can do to help, which also includes transit and infrastructure or voting access, important things for the local community,” Baez said. “Hopefully we spend more time educating people on the importance on local elections.”

District 114 is made up of areas from West Miami and South Miami, including Coral Gables, and extends to Cutler Bay. The elected representative will serve a two-year term and can serve no more than four consecutive terms.

Couriel, a former federal prosecutor, boasts a strong resume of prosecuting health care fraud, human trafficking felons and violent crimes. He spoke about the direct impact local government have, making it important for voters to choose their state representative.

“State representatives do more to impact people’s day-to-day lives than the president does, things like quality of our school, the taxes we pay on our real-estate, the roads or our environment,” he said. “It is important people inform themselves on who their state representatives are, who their state senators are and go vote, participate in the process of selecting us and holding us accountable for the choices we make.”

Miami resident Christopher Felton said he was voting for Couriel, who Felton called “hardworking.” He said it is important for voters to know what they are voting on beyond that race at the top between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

“You have to look at politics as a whole, you can’t just look at the top of the ticket, there is a lot more that is happening than Hillary or Trump,” Felton said. 

Couriel said his priority as representative would be to implement judicial and criminal law reform, and workforce development. He said he would do more to invest in vocational and technical training programs, not just for young people, but for mid-career people to give them more skills.

The Coral Gables Library was quiet, with voters trickling in the morning. There were more campaigners and canvassers than there were voters, yet the candidates stressed the importance of reaching as many voters as they could.

“I was here through the early voting process and saw tens of thousands of votes be cast, now I want to see those who have not yet voted,” Couriel said.


November 8, 2016


Marcus Lim

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • Error

University of Miami linebacker Jamie Gordinier has had another unfortunate setback, effectively side ...

The calmest coach on the planet got mad Friday after football practice. University of Miami coach Ma ...

Lester Williams wasn’t on the field playing for the Miami Hurricanes when they won their first natio ...

An extremely frustrated University of Miami football coach Mark Richt began his media availability b ...

UM chatter: • One lesson learned in recent years, as one UM official put it: Don’t get your hopes up ...

UM’s new chief academic officer holds some 40 patents, and in 2017 was inducted into the National Ac ...

University of Miami students and researchers are blogging during a month-long expedition in the Gulf ...

María de Lourdes Dieck-Assad, a world-renowned economist and former ambassador, fills a new role for ...

Through the U Dreamers Grant, DACA students find essential support as they pursue their college degr ...

UM students talk about their internships up north in a city that never sleeps. ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at http://www.hurricanesports.com/. A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.