Former Miami-Dade County Commission Chair Joe Martinez officially announced Thursday he's running for U.S. Congress.
Martinez announced his candidacy at the Dr. Olga Martinez Senior Center in West Kendall, which was named after his mother.
"Everyone knows what's wrong in Washington, the problem is no one there knows how to fix it or they don't care," Martinez said. "It is something that Washington needs right now, we need something to bring us together."
Martinez is aiming for the 26th Congressional District which stretches from western Miami-Dade County across to Florida’s west coast and includes the Florida Keys. The district is currently represented by Democratic Congressman Joe Garcia, who handily defeated then-Republican congressman David Rivera last November.
Martinez discussed his previous public service in the district and ability to reach a wide range of voters.
"It's a district where Democrats, Independents and Republicans in four elections have said, 'you know what we like and what you are doing is common sense,'" he said.
Three other Republican challengers are expected to face Martinez, including Miami-Dade School Board member Carlos Curbelo, Cutler Bay Mayor Ed MacDougall and political newcomer Jose Peixoto.
Martinez ran for Miami-Dade mayor last year but was defeated by Carlos Gimenez.
He said he planned to run a clean campaign.
"I told my people running the campaign I would rather lose honestly than win dirty," Martinez said. "I want to be able to pass the smell test in every way."
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