More than pride on the line for Miami lawmakers in political fight over Florida House

In the fight over the Florida House of Representatives, Miami is a key battleground.

The campaign generals — incoming House Speaker Jose Oliva and incoming minority leader Kionne McGhee — are both from Miami-Dade County. And with 10 seats in play, their backyard is the territory that could determine which party comes out ahead in the numbers game.

If McGhee can claw back seats in the 120-member chamber this fall, Democrats will enter 2019 with a better shot at influencing legislation over the next two years. The conditions would appear to be ripe, with mid-term elections typically favoring the party on the outside of the White House and Democratic voter turnout up dramatically during the primary elections.

But even though Democrats outnumber Republicans in Miami, Dade County voters have steadily supported down-ballot Republicans, who have their own reasons to feel good about voter turnout during the primary election. And Oliva knows he has an opportunity, however unlikely, to head into the new year with a veto-proof super-majority that would enable him to vigorously pursue his agenda regardless of which party occupies the governor’s mansion.

“Miami-Dade County is going to be ground zero,” said McGhee.

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