Surrounded by one hundred and fifty supporters and friends, attorney Javier Fernandez kicked off his campaign for State Representative District 114 on December 20th at Shula’s 347. Fernandez a resident of South Miami qualified for the May 1st special election on Thursday by gathering over three hundred petitions from district voters.
Following introductions from Senator Annette Taddeo and State Representative Kionne McGhee, Javier articulated some of the key issues he would push for in Tallahassee.
“ Our community needs an advocate who understands how to tackle our traffic and transportation issues. I have seen first hand what happens when the state abandons Miami Dade as a partner in transportation. I want to be your voice in Tallahassee,” stated Fernandez.
Fernandez said he has already been going door to door talking to neighbors about making sure we have a great public education system that ensures public colleges and universities are affordable. Javier said he hopes to be a champion for our environment and forcing the state to deal with sea level rise.
Fernandez noted that “ If we want to ensure that Miami Dade is a world class community, with great jobs that provide a high quality of life for our children, then we must address transportation, affordable housing, public education and environmental issues today.”
While several attendees spoke about Javier’s dedication and policy expertise in the areas of transportation and affordable housing his wife Ana Maria Patino-Fernandez, a clinical child psychologist, talked about a man who is “ known for his kind heart and genuine commitment to helping others”.
Javier Fernandez began his career as an affordable housing advocate before rising through the ranks of city government where he ultimately served as the Chief of Staff to the Mayor of Miami.
Fernandez is a truly local product having attended St. Theresa Elementary and Christopher Columbus High School before graduating from the University of Miami Law School.
Javier’s legal career has focused on his expertise in land use and transportation matters. Javier is proud to have successfully advocated for one of the largest mass transit projects in Miami Dade county.
Javier credits his mother, a life long educator in Miami Dade county public schools, who alone raised four children and instilled the values of hard work and giving back in him.
The special election for District 114 has four qualified candidates: Liz de las Cuevas who works in Behavioral Management with the Miami-Dade Public Schools System and originally filed as a Republican candidate in November before switching to a ‘No Party Affiliation’ in December; Republican Jose Pazos, a former Marine Sergeant and Small Businessman and Republican Andrew Vargas who is a partner at a Trujillo Vargas law firm.
While all four candidates are seeking office for the first time, all four have public sector experience. Andrew Vargas worked as a legislative aide for Republican State Representative Carlos Trujillo his current law partner and very prominent Donald Trump supporter.
Among the many attendees of kickoff event were attended State Rep. Richardson, State Rep. Nick Duran, State Rep. Robert Asencio, Hon. Cindy Lerner, Gables Commissioner Pat Keon, Hon. Manny Diaz, Candidate Matt Hagman and his two children Susanna and Lucas.