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HomeLatest News United StateWho is the Gen Z-er who won a Miami-Dade primary?

Who is the Gen Z-er who won a Miami-Dade primary?

Gabriel Gonzalez

Gabriel Gonzalez

A 22-year-old recent college graduate won a Democratic primary in South Florida and will be heading to the general election in November for a chance to make it to the Florida House of Representatives.

Gabriel Gonzalez defeated lawyer James A. Cueva with 56% of the vote in the Democratic primary of District 119. The Gen Z-er will face business owner Juan Carlos Porras, who won the five-way Republican primary with 48% of the vote.

Whoever wins will become the first state representative for the recently created District 119, which makes up a swath of Southwest Miami-Dade east of Krome Avenue, stretching from Tamiami Trail down to the Monkey Jungle area.

If Gonzalez were to win, it would be his first job out of college.

Gonzalez, in a questionnaire for the Miami Herald’s Editorial Board, said he didn’t have a full-time job “since I just graduated from college.”

Who is this Gen Z-er vying for a seat in Florida’s House?

Here are five facts to know about Gonzalez:

Gonzalez went to TERRA Environmental Research Institute and recently graduated from Columbia University in New York City with a bachelor’s degree in political science.

This is the first time Gonzalez has run for office, although he has been civically engaged in South Florida. He previously served on the Miami-Dade County Youth Commission, was an intern for former Miami-Dade Commissioner Juan C. Zapata and is a member of many local Democratic clubs. In a questionnaire for the Herald Editorial Board, he noted that he did campaign work for Miami-Dade school board member Lubby Navarro in 2016 and 2020 as well as for Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign in South Florida.

Gonzalez lists the environment as one of his campaign issues. He told the Editorial Board he doesn’t have a car to reduce his carbon footprint. Other campaign issues include infrastructure, healthcare and protecting LGBTQ+ rights.

Gonzalez might look familiar to Miami Herald readers. In 2018, the TERRA alum won the Miami Herald Silver Knight award for general scholarship. He created a nonprofit, Heartening Parents and Children with Cancer, that helps children and families battling cancer.

Gonzalez’s website lists an endorsement from state Sen. Annette Taddeo, who won her Democratic primary and will be challenging incumbent Republican María Elvira Salazar in November to represent Florida’s 27th Congressional District. Other listed endorsements include former state Rep. Javier Fernández, abortion rights advocacy group #VoteProChoice and several democratic organizations, including Florida College Democrats and the Democratic Environmental Caucus of Florida. Gonzalez, who is gay, is also endorsed by the Flamingo Democrats, the Miami-Dade Chapter of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus.

Miami Herald staff writer Howard Cohen contributed to this report.

This story was originally published August 24, 2022 12:27 PM.

There’s never a dull moment in Florida — and Michelle covers it as a Real Time/Breaking News Reporter for the Miami Herald. She graduated with honors from Florida International University, where she served as the editor-in-chief of Student Media PantherNOW. Previously, she worked as a news writer at WSVN Channel 7 and was a 2020-2021 Poynter-Koch Media & Journalism fellow.

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