Florida Democrat seeks best revenge after Rubio blocked her nomination: joining him in Congress
Former Florida state judge Mary Barzee Flores was nominated for a federal court seat by President Barack Obama and recommended by both of the state’s senators, Republican Marco Rubio and Democrat Bill Nelson. But despite that recommendation, Rubio blocked her confirmation for months, ultimately ending that nomination.
He did so for no apparent reason other than crass partisanship. It was so crass even a former U.S. attorney appointed by the very partisan George W. Bush, Marcos Jimenez, condemned it. “It’s unfortunate that Mary has apparently fallen victim to the extreme political partisanship that is plaguing federal judicial nominations,” he said. The judiciary’s loss, however, could be Congress’ gain. Barzee Flores is taking on Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, who is a reliable Trump vote. She’s even secured the endorsement of the Naples Daily News, which had previously endorsed Diaz-Balart. “Families and seniors struggling to make ends meet worry about medical expenses, medication costs or affordable health insurance while fearing financial ruin from serious illness,” the editors wrote.
That, in fact, is one of Barzee Flores’ main issues against Diaz-Balart. She spoke with SiriusXM and Huffington Post’s Michelangelo Signorile about the race. Diaz-Balart “hasn’t had a real challenger in a decade,” she said. “He is for the first time having to answer for his atrocious voting record. He voted to repeal, without replacement, the Affordable Care Act 18 times. Nearly 300,000 people in the district he allegedly represents would have lost access to health care when you include people with pre-existing conditions.”
If health care were the only issue, it would be enough. But here’s a remarkable statistic that Barzee Flores is quick to point out: “This district includes the city of Hialeah, which is the No. 1 city for Affordable Care sign-up.” It’s bad enough that they have to have Rubio for a senator.
This is a tough district, but it’s one where Democrats have to organize and fight for the future—perhaps even a future where a seasoned Barzee Flores takes on that Senate seat of Rubio’s.