What to Know
- After over four decades of public service in both Miami-Dade County and in Tallahassee, Gwen Margolis is calling it a career.
- The 81 year old Margolis announced that she will not continue her run for re-election to the Florida Senate and will give up her seat.
After over four decades of public service in both Miami-Dade County and in Tallahassee, Gwen Margolis is calling it a career.
The 81 year old Margolis announced that she will not continue her run for re-election to the Florida Senate and will give up her seat, which includes Miami Beach, Bal Harbour and much of the coastline in the county, when her term ends this November.
“I look back at 40 years of public service with great humility and joy as I reflect on all the work we accomplished to empower people’s lives," Margolis said in a statement. "It has been a remarkable journey and one that has allowed me to see how our county, state and nation evolved on so many issues.”
Margolis started her career in politics as a member of the Florida House of Representatives starting in 1974. The Democrat would move to the Florida Senate, spending the next 12 years in that chamber and becoming the first woman to serve as Senate President in 1990.
After an unsuccessful run for the U.S. House in 1992, Margolis joined the Miami-Dade County Commission the following year, serving six years as chair of that group. In 2002, she was elected back into the Senate, where she would serve another six years before losing her bid to become County Property Appraiser in 2008. Margolis would be elected back to the Senate in 2010.
Recently, Margolis drew criticism for comments made about her opponents in this year's election. The Miami Herald reported that, at a recent meeting of the Sunny Isles Beach Democratic Club, Margolis referred to her opponents as “three Haitians, some teacher and some lawyer.”
Several of those opponents, as well as the executive director of the Miami-Dade Democratic Party, called for her to apologize. Margolis did not apologize, instead announcing her retirement.