José Javier Rodríguez (Florida)
|José Javier Rodríguez|
|Member of the Florida Senate|
from the 37th district
Assumed office |
November 8, 2016
|Member of the Florida House of Representatives|
from the 112th district
November 6, 2012 – November 8, 2016
|Succeeded by||Nicholas Duran|
August 8, 1978|
High Point, North Carolina
|Political party||Democratic Party|
|Spouse(s)||Sonia Succar Ferré|
Brown University (BA)|
Harvard Law School (JD)
José Javier Rodríguez (born August 8, 1978) is a Democratic member of the Florida Senate who has represented the 37th district, which includes Coral Gables, Pinecrest, Key Biscayne, and downtown Miami in Miami-Dade County, since 2016. He previously served two terms in the Florida House of Representatives, representing the 112th district from 2012 until his election to the Senate.
Rodríguez grew up in Miami, and while he was growing up, attained the rank of Eagle Scout. He attended Brown University, receiving a degree in international relations in 2000, and, following his graduation, he joined the United States Peace Corps, serving in Senegal from 2000 to 2003 as a business advising volunteer. Upon returning to the country, Rodríguez attended Harvard Law School, graduating with his Juris Doctor in 2006, and then he moved back to Florida, where he taught as an adjunct clinical professor at the Carlos A. Costa Immigration & Human Rights Clinic at the Florida International University College of Law from 2008 to 2010 and then worked as an attorney for Florida Legal Services.
Florida House of Representatives
In 2012, following the reconfiguration of the state's legislative districts Rodríguez opted to run in the newly created 112th District. He faced Alex Dominguez in the Democratic primary, which the Miami Herald called a "low-key" race compared to the acidic Republican primary. Rodríguez was able to defeat Dominguez by a fairly wide margin, winning the primary with 58% of the vote and advancing to the general election, where he faced former State Senator Alex Díaz de la Portilla. Against Díaz de la Portilla, Rodríguez campaigned on supporting public education, encouraging economic growth, and the fresh perspective that he would bring to the legislature, noting, "My opponent practically invented the business model of pandering to voters in Miami and then selling us out in Tallahassee." Ultimately, Rodríguez defeated Díaz de la Portilla by a relatively slim margin, receiving 54% of the vote to his opponent's 46%.
In 2016, court-ordered redistricting created a new 37th district which included all of Rodríguez's house district. Rodríguez decided to run for the new seat against incumbent state senator Miguel Díaz de la Portilla, the brother of Alex. Rodríguez defeated Díaz de la Portilla in the general election, 49 to 46%.
- McGregory, Kathleen (2014-10-10). "Rising stars face off in closely watched Florida House race". Miami Herald. Retrieved 2017-05-09.
- Caputo, Marc (July 26, 2012). "Nasty state House race turns nastier". Miami Herald. Retrieved May 18, 2014.
- McGrory, Kathleen (November 7, 2012). "Newcomer Jose Javier Rodriguez makes a strong showing". Miami Herald. Retrieved May 18, 2014.
- McGrory, Kathleen (October 21, 2012). "Rookie battles veteran in state House race". Miami Herald. Retrieved May 18, 2014.
- Klas, Mary Ellen; Charles, Jacqueline; Staletovich, Jenny (2016-11-08). "Diaz de la Portilla and Bullard defeated in state Senate upsets". Miami Herald. Retrieved 2016-11-13.