MIAMI - Early voting in key primary races is well underway. The 27th Congressional District figures to be a close race between the Democratic challenger and Republican incumbent Maria Elvira Salazar.
CBS4 spotlights the three contenders vying to earn the Democratic bid to contest Salazar in the general election.
Republicans have held the 27th Congressional District in all but one term since its inception in the 2012 House elections.
However, there's optimism about turning the seat blue among all three Democratic primary candidates.
"I love being a voice for my community," said State Senator Annette Taddeo.
She entered the race two months ago, thanks to her daughter's encouragement.
"She said to me, mom, you should run for Congress. Your voice is needed," added Taddeo.
A voice she feels can effectively reach across the aisle after what she calls "tremendous training" working in the minority in Tallahassee.
"You try to move in steps and still pass legislation to make a difference to people," Taddeo mentioned.
And one of her chief priorities, if elected, is to codify Roe v. Wade. Also, improving immigration to be more welcoming.
"We should ensure we do it in an orderly way, so people don't have to go through the dangerous track of crossing the border," said Taddeo.
Fellow primary candidate, Angel Montalvo, says he relates to the working person's struggle, especially regarding healthcare access.
"I'm a gig worker. I will avoid going to the doctor because I can't afford to get healthcare in certain senses," said Montalvo, a leader in the progressive caucus locally. "My personal experience has been that these things need to be corrected because it's the just thing to do and democratic thing to do."
Medicare for all is a primary mission of the campaign.
"I want every single person in the district, in the state of Florida, and in the country to go to the doctor, to be able to have healthcare guaranteed as a human right," added Montalvo.
The 29-year-old Montalvo believes corporations corrupt policy.
"Indicative of a system that is perpetuating inequality and poverty," emphasized Montalvo.
Another candidate vying for the seat is City of Miami Commissioner Ken Russell.
"It's a very rough and tumble city commission," said Russell. Getting your legislation passed is not easy."
His strategy in reaching across the aisle, for example, when it comes to climate change:
"I don't talk about Polar Bears," quipped Russell. "I talk about plumbing. I talk about problems we all see and cannot deny in our streets. The sunny day flooding. The lack of infrastructure. The sea level rise."
An approach he says has worked in Miami and that he plans to take to Capitol Hill.
"In my few years as a city commissioner, I passed more legislation and accomplished more things for the community than every competitor in my race combined," emphasized Russell.
Watch additional videos of all three candidates to learn about their stances on key topics like climate change, affordable housing, healthcare, and inflation.
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