Southwest Miami-Dade Voters Head to Voting Booths For Special Primary Election Tuesday

Voters are heading to the polls to choose a replacement for a South Florida legislator who resigned after using a racial slur and vulgar language in a conversation with two African-American colleagues.

The Tuesday election features three Republicans and two Democrats contending for the State Senate District 40 seat based in Southwest Miami-Dade. The winners of the primary will advance to a special election on Sept. 26.

Former State Sen. Frank Artiles resigned in April, four days after he used the slur and vulgarities at a private club near the state Capitol. He later apologized on the Senate floor.

Two former legislators are vying for the seat on the GOP side, including Jose Felix Diaz, an attorney who once competed on the reality show hosted by Donald Trump. He will be facing off against former State Sen. Alex Diaz de la Portilla and attorney Lorenzo Palomares.

Annette Taddeo, a Democrat who ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor in 2014, is running against former Rep. Ana Rivas Logan.

Diaz had to resign his seat as State Rep. for the 116th district to run for the Senate, so voters will also be heading to the polls in that district. Businessman Jose Mallea and attorney Daniel Perez are seeking the GOP nomination to face Gabriela Mayaudón, a Democrat with no primary challenger, in the general election this September.

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