After drawing progressive ire, James Bush III seeks to repel strong challenge from his left

Democratic Rep. James Bush III of Opa-locka is among Florida’s most enduring politicians. First elected to the House in 1992, the now-retired teacher is serving in his third stint as a state lawmaker.

Over his three decades in Tallahassee, Bush, 67, has fostered strong ties both within his party and across the aisle. That’s proven an asset over the years in bringing back millions to his district.

But his support of so-called “red meat” legislation has placed him on the outs with progressive Democrats. This month, Bush faces his first election challenge in years in 37-year-old Ashley Gantt, an educator-turned-lawyer whose campaign for the House District 109 seat marks her first run at elected office.

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