We all knew the day would come when Congressional stalwart, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R) would call it quits in the U.S. Congress.
Ros-Lehtinen has held her Democratic-leaning seat for years, but because of her strong ties to the diverse, yet predominantly Cuban-America community that comprises her congressional district, winning reelection has never been an issue.
Now that Ros-Lehtinen is retiring, who will fill her big shoes?
There are already politicos writing off this seat as going Democratic in 2018, but is there a candidate out there the Republican Party can effectively inject into the soon-to-be hotly contested congressional race, who can actually retain the seat for them?
Enter Miami-Dade County Commissioner Bruno Barreiro.
The talk around certain political watercoolers in Washington,D.C. and Miami is about a possible Barreiro run for Congress. Barreiro is perceived as the Republican that cannot only win that seat – parts of which he has represented for almost 20 years in Tallahassee at at the County Commission – but also represent its diverse constituents effectively in Washington.
In looking back at his history in public service, Barreiro Is no stranger to winning Democratic-leaning seats for the Republicans Party.
After all, his first win was winning a state House that District 107, seat that was drawn by the Democrats for a Democrat.
His ability to pick up that seat for the Republicans was instrumental in helping the Republicans take control of the legislature 4 years later.
Throughout his career he has only represented constituencies that are wholly in the current Congressional District 27th. He has been reflective of the district and as a Republican has shown an ability to consistently win over Democrat and Independent voters in this area.
In 2012, he was targeted by Democrats to defeat him in his Democrat leaning Commission seat by recruiting a respected, seasoned democratic candidate against him. Barreiro proved his resilience by winning what ended up being a hyper -partisan election in a big Democratic year.
The Democratic Party already has their candidate in the race, Scott Fuhrman, who ran and lost to Ros-Lehtinen in 2016.
In order for Republicans to retain this congressional seat, someone cut from the same mold as Ros-Lehtinen has to jump in the race. Is Barreiro that someone?