The race to be state representative for District 103 is heating up as incumbent lawmaker Cindy Polo, D-Miramar, is being challenged by Thomas Fabricio, a Republican attorney who also from Miramar.
“Two years ago, I ran not just to oppose one candidate but to oppose a brand of politics that has been practiced in this area for decades,” Polo said. She said she has been the target of attack ads.
District 103 includes parts of Miami Lakes, Hialeah, Hialeah Gardens, Medley, Doral, Palm Springs North, and Miramar.
Polo won the seat in 2018 when she defeated former Miami Lakes Town Councilman Frank Mingo.
She replaced then-state Rep. Manny Diaz Jr., a Republican who was term-limited that year and is now a state senator.
Fabricio lived in Miami Lakes when he was teenager.
He defeated Miami Lakes Vice Mayor Nelson Rodriguez in the August Republican Primary.
Polo, 43, didn’t draw Democratic challengers in the primary and advanced to the Nov. 3 general election.
Her endorsements include The South Florida Sun Sentinel; SEIU, the union of health care professionals and public employees; the South Florida Council of
Firefighters; Broward County Professional Firefighters Union; the Florida AFL-CIO; United Teachers of Dade and the Florida Education Association Advocacy.
Polo has raised $104,567 for her campaign.
Polo said she will continue to fight to get relief for constituents from damage to their homes that they attribute to vibrations from blasts to excavate limestone, which is used in highway construction.
Industry leader White Rock Quarries says on its website that its contractor’s blasts create vibrations that are below established limits.
Polo said she introduced a bill this year that would allow homeowners to filed class action lawsuits against mining companies, but the bill never got a hearing.
“This issue affects a significant portion of residents in the district and it is indicative of what’s wrong with Tallahassee,” Polo said. “Repeatedly the legislature puts profits over people.”
Polo also said she’s committed to ensuring that all Florida residents have access to affordable health care.
Polo said she’s also focusing on getting more funding to enhance learning for public school students and to improve teacher compensation.
She wants to renew investment in traditional public schools and enact transparency requirements for charter schools, which may be privately owned but are funded with taxpayer dollars.
“Providing a quality education for Florida’s children is essential to securing our state’s economic future,” she said.
A former communications director for the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority, Polo is a stay-at-home mom for her son CJ, 5.
Fabricio’s endorsements include U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Miami; Fla. Sen. Manny Diaz, Jr.; Fla. Rep. Bryan Avila, R-Hialeah; Miami Lakes Mayor Manny Cid and Miami-Dade County Commissioner-elect Rene Garcia for District 13.
The Police Benevolent Association of South Florida; Fraternal Order of Police Hialeah Lodge #12 and the Florida Chamber of Commerce also backed Fabricio.
Fabricio, 43, has raised $77,153 for his campaign as of Oct. 9.
He said his approach to resolving the blasting issue differs from Polo’s.
Fabricio said he plans on working with Garcia in the hope that the county will pick up the issue as a priority for District 13 and get blasting levels reduced.
Fabricio said using eminent domain and Florida Forever Funds to buy land that borders the mines may be a solution.
“It will create a buffer between the mines and residential areas,” Fabricio said.
Fabricio was a member of the Broward County Charter Review Committee and said affordable housing is also on his list of goals.
He said the state needs to provide better relief for people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic who may lose their homes.
“I think we need to do something about the evictions and foreclosures on homes when people are struggling, until they can get back on their feet,” he said.
Fabricio is also calling for stiffer penalties for con artists who prey on senior citizens.
He also wants to make sure District 103’s taxes are spent on local infrastructure projects.
Fabricio is married to Laura Fabricio and they have two children,
Veronica, 8, and Alexandra, 6.
Photos courtesy of the campaigns.