Voters in state House District 103 have a pair of solid Democratic candidates to choose from in Tuesday special election to fill a vacancy created when incumbent Wilbert "Tee" Holloway moved to the Miami-Dade County School Board.The district stretches from eastern Miramar south into Miami Gardens and Opa-Locka. It is a predominantly Democratic district and the winner of Tuesday's election will become the next state representative because there is no Republican vying for the seat.
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel Editorial Board recommends Oscar Braynon, a 30-year-old city councilman from Miami Gardens. He has the energy and grasp of issues that will best serve this district, especially as the state grapples with a looming budget crisis.
Braynon's experience as an elected official began in 2003, the year the city incorporated, and he was re-elected in 2006 to a four-year term. He works as a government affairs consultant for a law firm and has a very clear understanding of a state legislator's chief purpose. He specifically points out that lawmakers' top priority is to set and approve a budget, and that focus is important because tough budget decisions loom ahead in the upcoming legislative session.
Braynon has a grasp of the budget and the maze of trust funds that the governor wants to tap. This is important because there are some trust funds that could be tapped to fill gaps, and others, such as one dedicated to affordable housing, that ought to be spared.
Braynon also wants to address property and casualty insurance reform, and is open to tackling improvements to the class size amendment as long as they don't weaken its provisions. He'd like to serve on economic and business development committees, as well as on the juvenile justice committee.
Braynon's opponent, Myra Taylor, a 59-year-old educator who owns a private school with her husband, has political experience as a city commissioner in Opa-Locka from 1996 to 2000, and as that city's mayor from 2000 to 2002. Education is a key issue for her, and Taylor would like to challenge the FCAT as a high stakes test, and wants to improve teacher salaries. She also advocates improving public safety.
That sounds appealing, and it's easy to appreciate her zeal in fighting for her priorities in education. However, it's a lean budget year. Taylor doesn't exhibit the command of the budgetary issues and details that Braynon does, and that gives him the edge in this election.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times