Longtime Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle, who was re-elected without opposition four years ago, will face a tough opponent in the August primary.
Rod Vereen, an experienced criminal defense lawyer and former prosecutor, announced Tuesday that he'll seek Rundle's seat.
"It's time that the people of Miami-Dade had a state attorney’s office where all citizens are treated equal," Vereen said at a news conference held in the historic courtroom at the Black Police Precinct Courthouse and Museum in Overtown.
Standing behind him was a cross-section of civic and political figures who endorsed Vereen, including Miami Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones.
"It's Rod's day," said Spence-Jones, "but I'm behind him 100 percent."
When asked about the two criminal cases brought by Rundle against Spence-Jones, neither of which resulted in a conviction, Vereen said they should never have been brought to court "and she never should have been charged."
Rundle issued a statement saying she wasn't surprised that the Miami-Dade Police Benevolent Association had endorsed Vereen.
"The leadership of the PBA," Rundle said, "had made a career of opposing me and has backed an opponent in two prior elections."