Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said Friday that he has given some consideration to running for Congress.
School district spokeswoman Daisy Gonzalez-Diego initially denied a report that Carvalho met with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in Washington to discuss a potential move to the nation's capital. She said he traveled there Thursday with the Florida Urban League to meet with Republican and Democratic leaders.
"Over the years, as different positions have opened, he has been approached," Gonzalez-Diego said. "He takes it as a sign of appreciation over the work he has done. But it is not reflective of any conversations or commitments he has made."
However, a few hours later, Gonzalez-Diego sent a statement from Carvalho that painted a different picture.
"The reports about me running for Congress are not a self-initiated wish, but rather a demand-sided proposition driven by the current popular uneasiness on issues like health care and education," Carvalho said.
The superintendent was back in South Florida on Friday to honor an outstanding principal in Hialeah Gardens. He spoke to Local 10 about the ongoing health-care debate, sounding like a potential congressional candidate.
Carvalho said cuts in the House proposal would unfairly target the neediest children.
"These are poor kids who have disabilities who are eligible for federal assistance, and under this proposed piece of legislation, which is now on its way to the Senate, these cuts would, in fact, take place, which would, at the very least, reduce dramatically services that are provided to the very needy and the very fragile in this community and beyond," Carvalho said.
Sources speculate that Carvalho is considering running for Congress to fill the seat that will be vacated by retiring U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Florida.
Friday night, Carvalho told Local 10 it would be difficult to trade school district duties with a run for Congress. But he also said he could fathom the transition.
"I'll tell you one thing without adding to the rumor mill: we've been able to balance a successive number of budgets without increasing taxes. We have increased academic outcomes with soaring graduation rates," Carvalho said. "I think there are concrete examples that would tell people that this would be an easy transition, and I think that's why people, perhaps, are paying attention."
U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Florida, said she would look forward to having Carvalho as a colleague on Capitol Hill.
"We need him. We need good people in Washington," she said. "I think he has a fan base. I think he has a community base."