Is Miami-Dade schools chief thinking of running for Congress?

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Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho is apparently considering running for retiring Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s seat in Congress, though he’s not saying so publicly yet.

Carvalho met this week with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in Washington, the Miami Herald has learned, and he has told a few people that he’s thinking of running. A number of Democrats are interested in the Democratic-leaning seat, and several have already formalized their candidacies.

Carvalho, 52, is not currently a Democrat: He’s registered to vote without political-party affiliation, state election records show. He’s been flirting with running for office for a while; his name periodically surfaces as a contender for various seats, including Miami-Dade mayor. Had Hillary Clinton won the presidency, he might have made the short list for an Education Department appointment, perhaps even secretary.

Carvalho did not respond to several requests for comment over the past two days. He told the Herald on Sunday that few “will measure up to the challenge” to replacing Ros-Lehtinen, a beloved and longtime legislator.

“Just having your name considered is the highest honor anyone could feel — to be mentioned alongside Ileana,”he said at the time. “But I think you know my commitment to Miami-Dade County Public Schools.”

Another prominent Miami-Dade figure announced Friday he’s running for Ros-Lehtinen’s seat. County Commissioner Bruno Barreiro told the Miami Herald on Friday he will seek the seat. Barreiro is the first big-name Republican to announce a candidacy.

“I am definitely running,” Barreiro said, adding that he’s preparing filing paperwork and putting together a campaign team.

Barreiro isn’t term-limited until 2020, and because he’s not on the local ballot in 2018, he won’t have to resign from the commission run for the U.S. House of Representatives.

“All of my districts —in the state House, on the county commission — have always been 100 percent within this congressional district,” said Barreiro, a former state representative. “I’ve always eyed running for Congress. I didn’t think it would be this soon.”

Barreiro said his interests at the federal level lie in housing and transportation. On the commission, he’s sometimes bucked Republican orthodoxy and sided with labor unions. A group of activists tried to recall him in 2010, after he backed the creation of a new Miami Marlins ballpark, but they fell short in gathering petition signatures against him.

“I think I’ve worked across the aisle at the state level, and on the commission, and God willing I could do it in Congress,” Barreiro said.

Herald staff writers Kyra Gurney and David Smiley contributed to this report.

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