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Florida Republican who once claimed alien abduction announces House bid - The Pitt News

The Pitt News

Florida Republican who once claimed alien abduction announces House bid

By Griffin Connolly | Roll Call (TNS)

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Either Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera has been watching too much Syfy Channel or she’s really just that special. We’ll probably never know for sure.

No matter, the 59-year-old Republican, who once recalled in an interview a visit from three blond-haired aliens who took her aboard their spacecraft, is running for Florida’s 27th District seat being vacated by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

“I went in. There were some round seats that were there, and some quartz rocks that controlled the ship, not like airplanes,” Rodriguez Aguilera said in a 2009 television spot, the Miami Herald reported.

Though Rodriguez Aguilera’s extraterrestrial tale is suspect, her political credentials and pedigree are not.

She was a city councilwoman in Doral, Fla., from 2012 to 2014 and the city’s first economic developer.

Her daughter, a former Republican National Committee Hispanic outreach director, is married to Vice President Mike Pence’s deputy chief of staff, Jarrod Agen.

Rodriguez Aguilera is a longshot to fill Ros-Lehtinen’s seat. She has raised a shade under $5,000, according to her FEC report. That’s roughly two percent of the funds hauled in by GOP primary front-runner and Miami-Dade Commissioner Bruno Barreiro.

Inside Elections with Roll Call’s Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race “Lean Democratic,” even though Ros-Lehtinen, its current representative, is a Republican. Ros-Lehtinen’s is one of a handful of open House seats Republicans are worried they could lose in 2018.

So far, 23 House Republicans have announced they are either retiring, resigning, or running for another office. Hillary Clinton carried Ros-Lehtinen’s district, which is three-quarters Hispanic, by nearly 20 points over President Donald Trump.

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Florida Republican who once claimed alien abduction announces House bid