Former Miami Mayor Maurice Ferre officially launched his upstart bid for the U.S. Senate Wednesday, banking on political experience and potential appeal in the fast-growing Hispanic community to overtake rivals with multimillion-dollar head starts.
The city's longest-serving and first Hispanic mayor was known for his vision of downtown Miami as an international business hub with a soaring skyline. Chaotic City Hall politics, the Mariel boatlift and the Liberty City riots rocked his 12-year stint.
"I have led during moments of turmoil before and I am ready to be the strong voice for Florida in Washington to pull us out of the crisis that we are living right now," reads a written statement from Ferre, who also served as a county commissioner, city commissioner and state lawmaker.
The 74-year-old Democrat lost his last three bids for county mayor, and it's unclear how he will raise the resources to run a statewide campaign. The leading Democratic candidate for the Senate seat, U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek of Miami, started campaigning in January and had raised $2.7 million as of June 30.
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