Florida Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera enters U.S. Senate race

Carlos Lopez Cantera

By William E. Lewis Jr. for SouthFloridaReporter.com,  July 15, 2015 – Ahead of a Wednesday afternoon announcement that he was joining the race for U.S. Senate for the seat being vacated by his friend Marco Rubio, who is running for president, Florida Lt. Gov. Carlos López-Cantera released a YouTube video in English and Spanish making his intention clear.

“The most important job I’ll ever have is as a husband to my wonderful wife Renee and as a father to our two beautiful girls,” López-Cantera stated in the video. “As a family, we’ve decided that I’m running for the U.S. Senate, so your kids and mine can continue to live in the kind of country that gave my family the blessings of liberty and freedom that only America offers.”

The 41-year-old Republican from Miami posted his YouTube announcement several hours before an expected official announcement at the headquarters of All American Containers, a company whose owner and employees have contributed tens of thousands of dollars to mostly Republican candidates.

In the nearly two-minute video, López-Cantera said he running for the U.S. Senate because he wants to be “part of the solution, not part of the problem.”

López-Cantera was appointed as lieutenant governor in January 2014, replacing former Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll.  Before becoming lieutenant governor, he served as Miami-Dade County’s property appraiser. López-Cantera also served in the Florida House from 2004 through 2012, serving as the House majority leader from 2010 through 2012.  In 2014, the voters of Florida elected him to a full four-year term as Gov. Rick Scott’s second in command.

“There will be a lot of people in this race who promise a lot of things, but my conservative record in Florida is more than a promise,” López-Cantera stated. “It shows that I’ll fight and win for you, even when the odds are long and the fights are hard.”

López-Cantera joins Republican Congressman Ron DeSantis, military combat veteran Todd Wilcox of Orlando, and Democratic Congressmen Patrick Murphy and Alan Grayson.  The race to replace Marco Rubio is expected to draw national attention from both major parties and the media as it is seen as a potential Democratic pickup.

“I’m excited for the Lt. Governor,” former Broward Republican Party Chairman and Plantation councilman Rico Petrocelli, told South Florida Reporter.  “His entering the race will bring together a number of minority groups that may have felt left out in the past.”