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Haggman Campaign Announces Campaign Co-Chairs, including former Mayor Manny Diaz

Former Mayor Diaz: “I have known Matt Haggman for over a decade, and I'm convinced he represents the type of leadership we need in Congress”


MIAMI –Former Miami Herald investigative reporter and Knight Foundation program director Matt Haggman announced the endorsement of seven community leaders who will co-chair his campaign for Congress. Haggman is a Democrat running to replace Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in a district that Hillary Clinton won by 20 points.


The seven Campaign Co-Chairs announced are: former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz; Adriana Cisneros, CEO of Miami-based Cisneros; prominent Miami attorneys Brian Bilzin and Al Dotson Jr.; advanced registered nurse practitioner Darlene Boytell-Perez; co-founder of Black Tech Week Felecia Hatcher; and Marta Viciedo, the director of Transit Alliance Miami.


"I have known Matt Haggman for over a decade, and I'm convinced he represents the type of leadership we need in Congress,” said former Mayor Manny Diaz. "In today's political environment, we need people like Matt who value unity, respect, the need to help one another, and acknowledge our shared destiny.  Matt belongs to a new generation of leaders that will restore the true meaning of public service."


Adriana Cisneros, the CEO of Miami-based Cisneros, said: “Matt’s vision and action at the Knight Foundation was a major driver in sparking innovation and entrepreneurship across Miami. He has shown the kind of leadership and integrity missing in our politics.” 


Al Dotson Jr., a prominent lawyer who is Chairman Emeritus of 100 Black Men of America, a past Chairman of the Miami Dade College Foundation, a past president of the Orange Bowl Committee, and is a member of the Federal Judicial Nominating Commission said: “Matt Haggman will bring progressive leadership to Congress at a key moment when much is at stake. He will be a candidate and a congressman who engages the entire community and focuses on solving problems and delivering results.”


Community leader Darlene Boytell-Perez, an advanced registered nurse practitioner and clinical researcher who served on the board of United Way of Miami-Dade, said: “Matt’s experience building bridges, paired with his experience as an investigative journalist, will make him an effective congressman. South Floridians are hard working, entrepreneurial, and embrace our diversity – and Matt Haggman will embrace all of those qualities in Congress.”



“Matt held the powerful accountable as an investigative reporter at the Miami Herald, and he engaged the entire community at the Knight Foundation, which provides people with the tools to pursue their dreams” said Brian Bilzin, a prominent Miami attorney. “I’m proud to support Matt because in Congress he will focus on creating new economic opportunities. Matt is the Democrat who will bring a fresh and new energy to getting things done.”


“Black Tech Week has grown into a staple of the Miami startup scene,” said Co-Founder of Black Tech Week and entrepreneur Felecia Hatcher. “It’s about giving people who are overlooked a chance. Matt brought Black Tech Week to life – and I know he will further expand educational and economic opportunities in Congress.”


Marta Viciedo, the director of Urban Impact Lab and Transit Alliance Miami, said: “Matt is in the community and is accessible to everyone. He embodies innovative thinking toward moving our community forward and has already laid the groundwork for a better Miami. 


Democratic candidate Matt Haggman, a former Miami Herald investigative reporter and Knight Foundation program director, said: “Manny, Adriana, Al, Felecia, Brian, Darlene, and Marta are pillars of our community and will be pillars of my campaign. They are leaders who have been driving change in Miami for years. I’m thrilled to be joining forces as we work to expand opportunity in Miami and bring fresh leadership to Congress.”


A poll released by POLITICO 10 days ago showed the race for the Democratic nomination in FL-27 is wide open with no frontrunner. Matt Haggman, a political newcomer who was an investigative reporter for the Miami Herald and the program director at the Knight Foundation, announced his campaign for Congress three weeks ago. The Knight Foundation is the largest foundation in Florida. 

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