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Patricia Mazzei, Miami Herald

Patricia Mazzei

Patricia Mazzei is the political writer for the Miami Herald. She joined the newspaper in 2007 after graduating from the University of Miami. Her previous beats include congressional and state legislative politics, Miami-Dade County Hall, Miami City Hall and Broward County public schools. Born and raised in Venezuela, she is fluent in Spanish.

Phone: (305) 376‑3350


Twitter: @PatriciaMazzei

  1. Rick Scott adds Miami House district to special summer election


    There will now be two races on the ballot for a special Miami legislative election this summer. 

    Gov. Rick Scott decided Monday to schedule the contest to replace state Rep. Jose Felix Diaz at the same time as the already-scheduled election to replace state Sen. Frank Artiles. That's a special primary July 25 and a special general election Sept. 26....

    Rep. Jose Felix Diaz
  2. Protesters urge Daisy Baez to resign because of residency issues


    Protesters greeted state Rep. Daisy Baez outside her Coral Gables home Monday morning, asking for her resignation because she doesn't live in her House district as required by Florida law.

    "Resign now!" the protesters chanted. "Liar liar liar," one of the signs read.

    About 18 people held signs on the sidewalk in front of Baez's house on Malaga Avenue at around 8:30 a.m. The house is in House District 112, but Baez, a Democrat, represents neighboring House District 114, as the Miami Herald reported last week....

    Protesters gathered outside the Coral Gables home of Daisy Baez Monday, asking her to step down.
  3. Top Miami Democrat drops out of Florida Senate special election



    State Rep. Daisy Baez’s short-lived candidacy for the Florida Senate came to end Friday, doomed politically by a crowded Democratic primary and the likelihood that she’d be attacked as a carpetbagger.

    Baez dropped out of the race for Senate District 40 just 19 days after it began, citing her ailing mother’s deteriorating health....

  4. Democratic favorite may drop out of race to replace Artiles


    State Rep. Daisy Baez could end her candidacy Friday for a special Florida Senate election, following a Miami Herald report that she might be in violation of the state Constitution by not living in her House district.

    Baez’s campaign manager, Dan Newman, said the freshman Democrat had not yet made a decision as of early Friday....

    Rep. Daisy Baez
  5. Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera for Congress?


    Florida Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera could be well-positioned to run for Congress if he wants to, according to a new poll obtained by the Miami Herald.

    The robopoll found Lopez-Cantera leading a hypothetical three-way GOP primary field in the race to replace Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who represents Florida's Democratic-leaning 27th district. The survey was conducted by Front Porch Strategies on behalf of Public Concepts, a top Republican political consulting firm in West Palm Beach run by Randy Nielsen and Rich Johnston. Johnston advised Lopez-Cantera during his short-lived 2016 U.S. Senate campaign....

    Florida Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera.
  6. Miami billionaire plans political fund to defend unauthorized immigrants


    To counter the Trump administration’s aggressive deportation policy, a billionaire Miami healthcare mogul plans to spend the next couple of years raising — and spending — serious cash to defend unauthorized immigrants in court.

    Mike Fernandez, a Republican-turned-independent political megadonor from Coral Gables, intends to create a nonprofit political organization in coming days to aid existing groups that provide legal services to unauthorized immigrants facing removal from the U.S....

    Health care executive Mike Fernandez of Coral Gables has founded a political committee to aid in the legal defense of non-felon unauthorized immigrants.
  7. Democratic senator says he'll run for Ros-Lehtinen's congressional seat


    Arguing that “the character of our democracy” is at stake, state Sen. José Javier Rodríguez plans to soon become a candidate for Congress.

    The Miami Democrat told the Miami Herald he intends to compete for U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s seat in 2018.

    “It’s a really important time to run,” Rodríguez said in an interview. “It’s a time when we’re trying to define what country we are, and the character of our democracy.”...

    Then-state Rep. José Javier Rodríguez spoke during news conference at the city of Miami in 2016.
  8. Annette Taddeo jumps into race for Artiles' Florida Senate seat


    The race to replace state Sen. Frank Artiles has drawn a second Democratic candidate: Miami businesswoman Annette Taddeo.

    Taddeo unveiled her campaign Tuesday, the day after Gov. Rick Scott set the dates for the special election for Artiles' District 40 seat. Artiles resigned last month after unleashing a string of offensive remarks to two African-American state senators; the special primary will take place July 25 and special general election Sept. 26....

    Then-Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist, center, and his running mate Annette Taddeo, right, cheer with supporters as they campaign in 2014 at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Hall in Miami.
  9. U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen says she's retiring from Congress


    U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the dean of the Florida legislative delegation and the first Cuban American elected to Congress, is retiring at the end of her term next year, saying it’s time to move on after 38 years in elected office.

    “It's been such a delight and a high honor to serve our community for so many years and help constituents every day of the week,” the Miami Republican told the Miami Herald in an exclusive telephone interview Sunday. “We just said, ‘It's time to take a new step.’”...

    Photo: Florida Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen alongside her husband Dexter Lehtinen before her acceptance speech after winning the reelection in November 2016.
  10. Four extraordinary days at the Florida Capitol: How Artiles went from defiance to resignation

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Last Monday afternoon, at the start of the state Legislature's seventh week of session, Sen. Audrey Gibson raced up three floors to present one of her bills to the Florida Senate's Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee.

    Gibson, a Jacksonville Democrat, stood behind the lectern and tried to catch her breath as she told colleagues about a 6-year-old from back home who had been involuntarily committed to a mental-health facility for three days for a "temper tantrum." She filed legislation to require such facilities to speed up their evaluation of the about 30,000 admitted each year under the state's Baker Act....

    Frank Artiles, R-Miami, resigned his seat in the Florida Senate on Friday.  (AP Photo/Steve Cannon)
  11. Replacing Artiles: Who's in and who's out (so far)


    Miami politics went into overdrive Friday following state Sen. Frank Artiles' resignation, as elected officials and their political consultants scrambled to figure out who might run in a yet-to-be-scheduled special election to replace the freshman Miami Republican.

    Political insiders in Miami and Tallahassee had begun whispering about Artiles' potential successor even before he stepped down. District 40 in Southwest Miami-Dade County is a competitive, Democratic-leaning and overwhelmingly Hispanic seat....

  12. Frank Artiles resigns, says he needs time for personal reflection, growth


    Sen. Frank Artiles resigned from the Florida Legislature today, consumed by a scandal that erupted three days earlier over a diatribe of insults the Miami Republican unleashed against two lawmakers at a Tallahassee bar.

    In a letter to Senate President Joe Negron, Artiles said he was stepping down for the sake of his family and of the institution of the Senate, whose work ground to a near halt this week as Republican leaders grappled with Artiles’ political future....

  13. Frank Artiles, Miami state senator, resigns after racist, profane remarks

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Sen. Frank Artiles resigned from the Legislature on Friday, consumed by a scandal that erupted three days earlier over a diatribe of insults the Miami Republican unleashed against two lawmakers at a Tallahassee bar.

    In a letter to Senate President Joe Negron, Artiles said he was stepping down for the sake of his family and of the institution of the Senate, whose work ground to a near halt this week as Republican leaders grappled with Artiles' political future....

    Sen. Audrey Gibson, D-Jacksonville
  14. Controversy over Miami lawmaker's racial slur engulfs Florida Legislature

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Controversy raged in the Florida Capitol for a second day over Sen. Frank Artiles' racist and sexist tirade, distracting and slowing down the Legislature on Thursday, just two weeks before the end of the annual lawmaking session and building pressure on the Miami Republican to resign — or risk the potential career-ending condemnation of the Senate.

    The Senate abruptly canceled formal meetings Thursday afternoon as leaders scrambled to find a quick resolution to Artiles' political future. As a Senate lawyer began taking sworn statements about Artiles' Monday-night verbal assault on two black colleagues at a bar near the Capitol, the senator hired a defense attorney who argued Artiles' use of the n-word and other insults are constitutionally protected free speech....

    Dawn Roberts, the special master in the Artiles' case.
  15. Legislative complaint seeks to expel Miami lawmaker from Senate over 'racist rant'

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Forced by Florida Senate leaders to show contrition, Miami Republican Sen. Frank Artiles stood on the chamber floor Wednesday morning and told his colleagues he was sorry for insulting them in private using curse words and a racial slur.

    "I extend a heartfelt apology to my colleagues and to all those I have offended," Artiles began, reading from prepared remarks.

    It was not enough....

    State Sen. Frank Artiles, R- Miami, had been reported to Republican leaders for using offensive language directed at state Sen. Audrey Gibson and others. [Scott Keeler | Times]