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Christian Family Coalition Endorsements  
20120810

The 2012 Elections will be one of the most important in our community’s history. That’s why Christian Family Coalition (CFC) has invested its efforts into a comprehensive endorsement process to ensure the best fair-minded, pro-life, pro-family candidates are selected. We hosted 72 hours of interviews with the assistance of 240 volunteer hours to ensure that our process is one of the best and fairest in the county. Each candidate was judged based on their support of pro-life, pro-family issues, viability, community support, and overall good for the community at large. Now the choice is yours, but be assured that voting for any and all of CFC’s endorsed candidates is a vote for family, faith and freedom.

State Senate and State House Members

 
Anitere Flores

Senator Anitere Flores was elected to the Florida State Senate in 2010, however, she was first elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2004.  She has always voted 100% with the Christian Family Coalition (CFC). Senator Flores is a tireless advocate for family, faith and freedom.  She is a member of both the Florida Bar and the Cuban-American Bar Association, out side of the legal profession, Senator Flores is currently a board member of the National Assessment Governing Board as well as the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials-Educational Fund.

 
Rene Garcia

Senator Rene Garcia was elected to the Florida State Senate in 2010, however, he was first elected to the Florida House of Representatives where he served from 2000-2008.  He was a councilman in the City of Hialeah from 1997-1999.  Senator Garcia has been an strong advocate for children, including their right to pray in public school.  Furthermore, he is a 
Founding Board Member of the Children's Trust and activist for KidCare, member of the Executive Board for Safe Haven, as well as a member of the Execuitve Board for Camillus.
He has always voted 100% with the Christian Family Coalition (CFC).  

 
Miguel Diaz de la Portilla

Senator Miguel Diaz de la Portilla was elected to the Florida State Senate in 2010 with the support of the Christian Family Coalition (CFC).  In 1993, he was elected to the Miami-Dade County Commission and served in that capacity until 2000.  During his tenure on the County Commission, Portilla served as an articulate advocate for churches as well as on issues of fairness and equality for all people of faith, including Christians.  He is currently a member of the Builders Association of South Florida, Board of Directors, American Bar Association (State and Local Government Section), United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida and Supreme Court of Florida.  He has a 100% voting record with the Christian Family Coalition (CFC).

 
Renier Diaz de la Portilla

Renier Diaz de la Portilla was sworn-in as a Miami-Dade School Board Member for District 5 on November 17, 2006, marking his return to the forefront of the fight to improve public education. He was re-elected to his seat on August 26, 2008.  He is now running for the Florida State House, a position he held from 2000-2002, Renier Diaz de la Portilla has always been and continues to be, a faithful ally of pro-life and pro-family values in our state.

 
John Patrick Julien

Florida State Representative John Patrick Julien is a Haitian-American Democrat who was first elected to the Florida House in 2010.  He is a former council member from the city of North Miami, 2005-2010.  He is a current member of the 2012 Miami-Dade Charter Review Task Force and a current board member of The Children's Trust.  He is currently running for re-election against another incumbent, however, we believe he is highly qualified and deserves re-election.  Rep. Julien is a recipient of the 2012 Christian Family Coalition (CFC) Friend of the Family Award.

 
Daphne Campbell

Florida State Representative Daphne Campbell is Haitian-American Democrat who was first elected to the Florida House in 2010.  She is currently affiliated with a number of prestigious organizations including the Greater North Miami Chamber of Commerce, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Miami, Haitian-American Nurses Association of Florida (H.A.N.A.), as well as the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, among others. She is currently running for re-election and we believe she deserves another two years in office.  Rep. Campbell has a 100% voting record with the Christian Family Coalition (CFC) and a recipient of our Friend of the Family Award.  

 
Jose Oliva

Florida State Representative Jose Oliva was first elected to the Florida House in a special election on June 28, 2011. He has been a member of the Kiwanis Club since 1997, and is currently the Director of the Cuban Liberty Council.  He is currently running for re-election and we believe he deserves another two years in office. Rep. Oliva has a 100% voting record with the Christian Family Coalition (CFC) and a recipient of our 2012 Friend of the Family Award.

 
Eduardo "Eddy" Gonzalez

Florida State Representative Eduardo "Eddy" Gonzalez was first elected to the Florida House in 2006, and re-elected subsequently.  Rep. Gonzalez was appointed to the Legilsative Committee on Intergovernmental Relation by Governor Jeb Bush, he is currentluy a member of the Board of Directors of the Florida League of Cities, as well as the Federal Action Strike Team (FAST).  Currently, he is currently running for re-election and we believe he deserves another two years in office. Rep. Gonzalez has a 100% voting record with the Christian Family Coalition (CFC) and a recipient of our 2012 Friend of the Family Award.

Jose Felix Diaz

Rep. Diaz understands the unique challenges the faith community faces in Florida every single day, from the foreclosure and healthcare crisis, to issues of speech equality, as well as his respect for life and marriage as one man, one woman.  His bold and unrelenting approach to these critical matters is the kind of leadership we need in Tallahassee to keep moving our state forward, the Christian Family Coalition is pleased to support him.
 
Diaz, an incumbent running in the newly redrawn District 116 race and a recipient of the Christian Family Coalition Friend of the Family Award, 
for his 100% voting record on the CFC's 2012 Legislative Scorecard.  

Alex Diaz de la Portilla

Alex Diaz de la Portilla was a member of the Florida House of Representatives from 1994-2000.  He was elected to the Florida Senate in 2000, and served as President Pro Tempore from 2002-2004.  He is currenlty running for election to the Florida House, during his prior tenure in Tallahassee, he represented our fair-minded pro-life, pro-family values with distinction. 
He is highly qualified to return to Tallahassee and represent the constituents of State House District 112.

 
Erik Fresen

Florida State Representative Erik Fresen was first elected to the Florida House in 2008, and re-elected subsequently. Rep. Fresen is a Board Member of the Beacon Council, Blue Ribbon Committee on Workforce Housing, and the Children's Home Society.  Currently, he is currently running for re-election and we believe he deserves another two years in office. Rep. Fresen has a 100% voting record with the Christian Family Coalition (CFC) and a recipient of our 2012 Friend of the Family Award.


Michael Bileca

Florida State Representative Michael Bileca was first elected to the Florida House in 2010 with the support of the Christian Family Coalition (CFC). Rep. Bileca is a Board Member of Hands on Miami, March of Dimes and a trusteee with the Miami Chamber of Commerce. Currently, he is currently running for re-election and we believe he deserves another two years in office. Rep. Bileca has a 100% voting record with the Christian Family Coalition (CFC) and a recipient of our 2012 Friend of the Family Award.

 
Frank Artiles

Florida State Representative Frank Artiles was first elected to the Florida House in 2010 with the support of the Christian Family Coalition (CFC).  Rep. Artiles is a war veteran, a former Marine and Team Leader in Operation Iraqi Freedom.  He is currently a Board Member of the Florida Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (FAPIA), as well as the Veterans of Foreign wars, among others.  Currently, he is currently running for re-election and we believe he deserves another two years in office. Rep. Artiles has a 100% voting record with the Christian Family Coalition (CFC) and a recipient of our 2012 Friend of the Family Award.

 
Jeanette Nunez

Florida State Representative Jeanette Nunez was first elected to the Florida House in 2010 with the support of the Christian Family Coalition (CFC).  Rep. Nunez is a Board Member of Kristi House and a member of the Women's Healthcare Executive Network.  Currently, she is currently running for re-election and we believe he deserves another two years in office. Rep. Nunez has a 100% voting record with the Christian Family Coalition (CFC) and a recipient of our 2012 Friend of the Family Award.

Local Candidates


Joe A. Martinez

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Joe A. Martinez is running for Mayor of Miami-Dade County and has received the endorsement of the Christian Family Coalition (CFC).  Commissioner Martinez was first elected to represent the residents of District 11 in October 2000 and was re-elected by a wide margin for his third term in August 2008. On November 16, 2010, the Board of County Commissioners selected Joe A. Martinez to serve as Chairman for a two-year term, which began January 1, 2011. As Chairman, Martinez will preside over County Commission meetings, Miami-Dade's legislative branch. In 2004, Commissioner Martinez was the first Hispanic in the 60 years of Miami-Dade County government to serve as a County Commission Chairman and he is also the first Commissioner to have been elected twice by his peers as the Chairman of the Board.  Chairman Martinez has a keen understanding of the unique problems facing our diverse community from the foreclosure and healthcare crisis facing our families, to issues of speech equality, allowing an invocation at the start of County commission meetings, to his respect for marriage as one man, one woman. His bold approach to these difficult matters is to bring people together and build bridges of understanding, in a community which is sometimes polarized, it is refreshing to see an elected official who has the ability to unite all of us as one. We look forward to working closely with Chairman Martinez in the coming days and weeks as we labor to make Miami-Dade County, the world class community that it is.  We are proud to support to Chairman Joe A. Martinez for mayor of Miami-Dade County.

 
Shirley Gibson

Mayor Shirley Gibson is running for Miami-Dade County Commission District 1, and has received the endorsement of the Christian Family Coalition (CFC), Florida's premier human rights and social justice organization.  She is running against an incumbent, however, we believe she understands the needs of the Christian community.  The First Mayor of the City of Miami Gardens; the third largest city in Miami-Dade County, Florida and the thirty-third (33rd.) municipality to be incorporated; with a population of more than 109, 000; 79 percent of whom are African Americans. This blossoming new city located in the northern portion of Miami-Dade County is a Mecca for commerce, finance, education and recreation. In 1996, Shirley Gibson had a vision of political self-determination and civic empowerment for her community. Through doubt, hostility, setbacks and naysayers, Ms. Gibson successfully led a dedicated group of her neighbors in creating the largest predominately African-American municipality in the state of Florida. Mayor Gibson has a diverse background in the public and private sector. She was first elected to public office in 1996; where she served on the Miami Dade County Community Council Three and was elected for two consecutive terms. She also served on the Miami Dade’s Democratic Party Executive Committee. Mayor Gibson served as chairperson of the North Dade Municipal Advisory Committee, and the Committee to Incorporate the City of Miami Gardens. She is a retired sixteen year veteran of the Miami Dade Police Department. In addition to fifteen years as an entrepreneur, Mayor Gibson is skilled in community organizing. She is a professional negotiator, using a collaborative approach to incorporate diversity, inclusiveness, and responsibility for effective outcomes.  The Christian Family Coalition (CFC) is proud to endorse Mayor Shirley Gibson for Miami-Dade County Commission District 1. 

 
Keon Hardemon

Keon Hardemon is running for Miami-Dade County Commission District 3, and has received the endorsement of the Christian Family Coalition (CFC), Florida's premier human rights and social justice organization.  He is running against an incumbent, however, we believe she understands the needs of the Christian community.  Mr. Hardemon was born in Miami, Florida, his family’s first home was in the James E. Scott Public Housing Development in the Liberty City area of Miami-Dade County.   Keon’s family stressed to him the importance of education, integrity, and service to the community. These core values are what helped shape his future. He is a product of the Miami-Dade County Public Schools System, where he graduated from Charles R. Drew Elementary School, Charles R. Drew Middle School, and Miami Northwestern Senior High School. At Miami Northwestern, he was a Medical Magnet student where he volunteered his time each week at various community hospitals, including Jackson Memorial Hospital. However, he was also extremely active in extra-curricula activities. He was the Freshman Class President, played varsity baseball and football, and was elected by his fellow classmates as “Best All Around” and “Mr. Northwestern”.  Currently, Keon is a member of the Florida Bar Association, the American Bar Association, Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Wilkie D. Ferguson Bar Association, FAMU Alumni Association, and the UM Alumni Association. He is an Assistant Public Defender at the Law Offices of the Public Defender, Carlos Martinez where he has represented hundreds of clients. Initially, he was entrusted with protecting the United States Constitution by representing indigent adults accused of misdemeanor crimes, but was eventually promoted to representing children accused of misdemeanor and felony crimes. In the juvenile court system, he has had a direct impact on the children of Miami-Dade County.  The Christian Family Coalition (CFC) is proud to endorse Keon Hardemon for Miami-Dade County Commission District 3.

Manny Machado

My name is Manny Machado and I am reaching out to you regarding my candidacy for County Commissioner of District 11. Election time is here and your vote and support are incredibly important to me. I can say with confidence that I am the right person for the job. Those who know me, consider me to be a kind, humble, honest family man with strong moral values and a giving heart. I am honored to announce that because of these very same values, the Christian Family Coalition’s (CFC) has chosen to endorse me exclusively. I am committed to serving you. I have dedicated my life to helping others, and it is my honor and privilege to have your vote. Please come out and Vote #125 Manny Machado for County Commissioner of District 11 on August 14th and together we can make a difference for the better.

Dan Espino

Dan Espino is running for Miami-Dade County School Board, District 5, and has received the endorsement of the Christian Family Coalition (CFC).  He has been a life-long resident of Miami-Dade County and of the School Board’s District 5, which he seeks to represent.  Born in Miami to Cuban-immigrant parents of humble means, Dan was instilled with uncompromising values: love of faith and family, personal integrity in all that is done and education, hard work and determination as the keys to success.  With faith an integral part of his family’s life, he attended Blessed Trinity Catholic School for elementary and middle school and Monsignor Edward Pace High School.  Dan attended the University of Miami, where he graduated from the Honors College with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in political science and religious studies.  He obtained his Juris Doctorate from the Nova Southeastern University, Shepard Broad Law Center, having been a part of its Moot Court Society and Law Review.  Through the Law Review, he earned the exceptional honor of national publication of a legal article that he prepared. Professionally, Dan is an attorney with the law firm of Kravitz & Talamo, LLP, where he practices corporate and commercial law. His practice is based on helping small business clients accomplish their goals from starting new or expanding existing companies to solving the everyday issues that business experiences, especially in these still difficult times.  In 2009, Dan was elected to his first term to the Miami Springs City Council, becoming the youngest elected official in City history.  He was reelected in a landslide victory in 2011.As a Councilman, Dan has championed the revitalization of the City's commercial areas, worked toward reducing city expenses and red-tape, lowered taxes while increasing services and programs and advocated for an increase in civic education and volunteerism.  The Christian Family Coalition (CFC) is proud to endorse Dan Espino for Miami-Dade County School Board, District 5. 

Ileana Petisco

On December 6, 2011, she appointed to the Community Council Board of Appeals by Commissioner Joe Martinez, for her outstanding work as a community advocate. Since then, she has dedicated herself to serve her constituents through her tireless work in the community and in the council by protecting our West Kendall neighborhoods. As councilwoman, some of her most rewarding work has been the opportunity to personally get to know and listen to the neighbors, as well as advocate for job creation by supporting merit worthy projects. 

Recently, she spearheaded the opposition to a proposed cemetery on Krome Avenue and SW 136 Street. This zoning change would have compromised the Miami Dade County Master Plan and possibly set the stage for irresponsible development west of Krome, further reducing the already depleted agricultural lands in Miami-Dade County. I can only continue this important work if I am re-elected to the Community Council Board of Appeals for Area 11.

Judges

Patricia Marino-Pedraza

Miami-Dade County Court Judge Patricia Marino-Pedraza was first elected to the Court in 2006 with the support of the Christian Family Coalition (CFC).  Judge Pedraza's passion for and dedication to the law is impressive, and her experience solidified our decision to endorse her. Judge Pedraza has solid support from the community such as the endorsement from the League of Prosecutors, Concerned Citizens of NE Dade County and now, the Christian Family Coalition (CFC).  We enthusiastically support her.

Diana Gonzalez

Ms.  Gonzalez is running against an incumbent.  Ms. Gonzalez is a woman of deep faith and conviction. Her passion for representing the under-served in our community is impressive. Ms. Gonzalez is supported by  the Hialeah Council President and members.  She is also a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (FACDL), Cuban-american Bar Association (CABA) and the Lions Club.  We uniformly believe that she will make an excellent County Court Judge.  That is why she has earned the endorsement of the Christian Family Coalition (CFC).

Andrea Ricker Wolfson

Miami-Dade County Court Judge Andrea Ricker Wolfson was appointed to the bench in 2010. Since that time, she has demonstrated a judicial temperament worthy of the powerful position she holds. Although she is running for election against two other candidates, we believe she understands the critical issues facing all communities, including the faith community better than any other candidate in this race. As a person of deep faith and conviction, she has experienced unfair and disproportionate treatment in this contest. However, this has given her a greater understanding and appreciation for the importance of honoring her oath of office, which is to faithfully apply the law equally, and with justice for all. This understanding gives her a unique perspective on the need for basic fairness for all, including people of faith.

Judge Wolfson is supported by some of the most respected attorneys and judges in the County, who uniformly believe that she will continue to make an excellent County Court Judge. Judge Wolfson also has an extensive committee of public officials openly endorsing to keep her on the bench. Judge Andrea Wolfson has earned the enthusiastic support of the Christian Family Coalition (CFC) in this top-priority race.

CFC informs its supporters that her main opponent, Greer Elaine Wallace, was also invited to meet with CFC, but refused to do so. She has now accepted the endorsement of another group, operating somewhere in the Miami-Dade County area, even though it is avowedly anti-faith and anti-Christian. 

Enrique "Rick" Yabor

With  over 12 years of experience, CFC endorses Enrique "Rick" Yabor. He owns his own law firm and is a Florida Supreme Court Approved Arbitrator, Certified Civil Circuit Mediator, and Certified Appellate Mediator. Mr. Yabor is also a member of the Dade County Bar, Cuban-American Bar Association (CABA) and a former Boy Scout. Enrique "Rick" Yabor has earned the endorsement of the Christian Family Coalition (CFC).

John "Johnny" Rodriguez

John "Johnny" Rodriguez is running against an incumbent, but we believe that he shows a greater understanding of the law. Mr. Rodriguez has been an attorney for nearly 25 years.  His specialties include: criminal defense, real estate and transactional law. Mr. Rodriguez is supported by an impressive group of city officials: Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernandez and the Hialeah council, Miami Lakes Mayor Michael Pizzi and the entire town council, among others. We believe Mr. Rodriguez will make an excellent County Court Judge.  John "Johnny" rodriguez has earned the support of the Christian Family Coalition (CFC).

Maria Elena Verde

Maria Elena Verde is running for an open seat on the Circuit Court in Group 16.  She is a former assistant state attorney in the Miami-Daded State Attorney's Office.  She has been a businesswoman and sole practitioner since 2001.  She specializes in criminal law, and we believe that she shows a greater understanding of  issues affecting the faith community, including Christians, than her opponent does.  Maria Elena Verde has earned the endorsement of the Christian Family Coalition (CFC).

Victor De Yurre

Experience is the key reason why we are supporting Victor De Yurre  for this open seat. He has been an attorney in Florida for 35 years consisting of litigation and general representation as well as real estate and commercial practice.  Mr. De Yurre was plaintiffin the early 1990's against the Dade County Government and the Dade County School Board forcing these entities to change the form of government from an at large effective office to districts, ensuring that there would exist equal representation.  Both candidates participated in our endorsement process, but only one was ready to serve as the next Circuit Court Judge, earning Victor De Yurre the Christian Family Coalition (CFC) endorsement.

Lourdes Cambo

 

On August 14, 2012, Miami-Dade County will hold its county-wide primary election.  Among the many important elections on that date, Lourdes T. Cambó will be running for Judge in Group 40.  Lourdes brings over 20 years of experience as a lawyer to this race, but also a true sense of fairness and justice that makes her an ideal candidate for the bench.

As a young girl, Lourdes was sent to the United States from Cuba by her mother as part of Operation Pedro Pan.  At its core, Operation Pedro Pan represented Cuban parents displaying great courage and faith, but also exercising the most fundamental human rights: the right to freedom and the right to choose how their children would live and be educated. In the United States, there are no greater defenders of those fundamental human rights than our Judges.  As such, Lourdes’ life experiences, values and character make her extremely qualified for this position.

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