Metro-Dade, FL Local 1403 President Omar Blanco announced August 20 he is running for U.S. House of Representatives in Florida’s 26th congressional district.

“Brother Blanco has been an incredible leader for our brothers and sisters in Metro-Dade and across the state of Florida,” says General President Harold Schaitberger. “I know he’ll continue to fight for fire fighter issues and accomplish great things when he’s elected to Congress.”

“I am proud to stand with my 12th District brother as he campaigns for a seat in Congress,” says 12th District Vice President Walt Dix. “I know he’ll be a great voice for our members as important decisions are made in Washington, DC.”

Blanco has been a fire fighter and paramedic in Metro-Dade County for 15 years and has served as Local 1403 president for the last four. As local president, not only did he work hard to increase public safety resources in his own community, but he also assisted in the lobbying efforts to secure protections for fire fighters throughout the state of Florida.

Most recently, he successfully helped push for the passage of legislation that provides full medical coverage through an employer-provided group health plan for cancer, including disability and death benefits, and recognizes 21 cancers as linked to firefighting.

Now, he says he’s ready to do more.

“I am running for Congress because I want to do my part to restore American values,” says Blanco. “If elected I will take the same passion that has driven me to fight for issues important to our brother and sister fire fighters to Washington, DC. While I will often be fighting for broader issues, I will never stop being a voice for my union brothers and sisters.”

Blanco is running against fellow-Republican restauranteur Irina Vilariño in the Republican primary on August 25, 2020.

If he wins the primary, he will be challenging incumbent U.S. Representative Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D) in the general election.

Learn more about Brother Blanco’s campaign at