Miami Union Backs Republican Incumbent, State Affiliate Backs Democratic Opponent

A teacher in Miami-Dade County could be such a committed unionist that he/she contributes to both the political action committee of the United Teachers of Dade (UTD) and that of its state affiliate, the Florida Education Association (FEA). That teacher will soon be in the position of contributing to both sides of a state senate race.

Earlier this year UTD endorsed incumbent Republican Miguel Diaz de la Portilla for reelection to his seat in Senate District 37. This is unusual but not unheard of, particularly in a state where the GOP dominates the legislature.

What’s remarkable is that FEA has just endorsed Diaz de la Portilla’s challenger, Democrat Jose Javier Rodriguez. In its announcement FEA said positive things about its choice, but did not mention Diaz de la Portilla or UTD.

UTD’s PAC has already contributed $3,000 to Diaz de la Portilla’s campaign. It will be interesting to see how much of a financial and volunteer commitment FEA makes to his opponent. We also expect a lot of confusion from voters contacted during precinct walks.