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Haitian-Americans In The Running For Florida Congressional Seat

CaribWorldNews, MIAMI, FL, Fri. Aug. 21, 2009: Three Haitian Americans are in the running for the race for Florida`s 17th congressional district.

They are former state Rep. Phillip Brutus, state Rep. Yolly Roberson and Marleine Bastien, the present chair of the Florida Immigrant Coalition, and Vice-Chair of the Haitian-American Grassroots Coalition..

Bastien yesterday announced her candidacy at the Gwen Margolis Center on the platform, `A Voice For Change – A Voice For The Community.

All three  are in the race for the open-seat  being vacated by Rep. Kendrick Meek ,(D-Fla.). Meek is set to run for senate in Florida.

`Being a member of Congress will afford me the opportunity to bring South Florida`s issues to a much wider forum,` said Bastien in a statement published on South Florida Caribbean News. `I have a unique advantage of having worked on all sides of the issues as a practitioner, an advocate, and a problem solver. I have been to Washington to testify on the issues that affect the 17th district, now I want to be there as a member of Congress to be a strong, compassionate and persuasive voice for South Florida. I am ready for the challenge!`

Brutus, the first Haitian-American elected to the state Legislature, said he is working to clear the field because it`s impossible to win the nomination unless one candidate wins the community`s full backing. 

`The community has spoken loud and clear that we`re tired of this division and want to have one person representing the community,` Brutus said. `And the pendulum seems to be swinging my way.`