Miami Mayor Francis Suarez drops out of presidential race; Mayor Daniella Levine Cava focuses on empowering the community.
- on Oct 13, 2023
Mayor of Miami, Florida, Francis Suarez Ends Presidential Campaign
Mayor Daniella Levine Cava is committed to making Miami a place where opportunity and freedom thrive. She believes in empowering our community to become more self-sufficient and civically engaged.
She’s worked to distribute millions of dollars in coronavirus relief funds efficiently and equitably across Miami-Dade. She’s also focused on addressing the city’s affordable housing crisis.
Francis Suarez’s Political Career
Francis Suarez’s parents fled Cuba in search of a better life, and their story inspired him to pursue public service. He earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from Florida International University and later a Juris Doctor from the University of Florida Levin College of Law.
After graduating from law school, Suarez entered politics and won a seat on the City of Miami Commission in 2009. He was reelected in 2011 and 2015. In 2017, Suarez took over his father’s old job as mayor of Miami.
Since taking over as mayor, Suarez has risen his national profile by promoting the city as an entrepreneurial tech hub. He has also embraced cryptocurrency, although he may not be as fervent about it as some of his peers. On the political front, he has been a fierce critic of Disney and has sided with local Democrats on COVID precautions and restrictions, as well as immigration policy. He has also bucked the GOP’s national standard bearers in his support of Andrew Gillum’s gubernatorial bid.
Suarez’s Campaign for President
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez ended his presidential campaign on Tuesday after failing to meet the polling requirements needed to make the first Republican primary debate. He was the first candidate to drop out of the race.
In his campaign, Suarez sought to appeal to Latino voters by touting his family’s immigration story and advocating a boilerplate GOP platform that called for limiting violent crime, encouraging companies to move out of China and supporting a 15-week abortion ban with exceptions.
He also championed high tech and touted cryptocurrencies, even announcing that he would take his own salary in Bitcoin while mayor. His candidacy drew criticism for his lack of experience. Unlike the mayors of New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, who exercise significant executive authority, the Miami mayor’s job is mostly ceremonial.
During his campaign, Suarez also took criticism for allegedly accepting $170,000 from a developer in exchange for approving a development project. That controversy led to a federal investigation, and Suarez denied wrongdoing.
Suarez’s Relationship with Disney
Miami’s mayor has limited powers in its city-manager government. He can veto legislation but must let the appointed city manager execute commission decisions and run day-to-day government operations. He also can’t directly hire or fire employees.
Suarez has a reputation as an economic developer and business-friendly mayor who’s been able to attract high-profile companies like Google to the city. He’s also worked to expand Miami into a cryptocurrency hub and has called for Florida to become a magnet for tech talent.
The son of Miami’s first Cuban-born mayor, he’s a 45-year-old in a field of septuagenarians and the only Latino in the GOP race. He’s hoping to continue the success of Republicans in Miami-Dade County, the most populous county in Florida, and win over a significant percentage of the state’s growing Latino population.
Suarez’s Relationship with Citadel
Since becoming mayor, Suarez has pushed hard to brand Miami as a sunnier, more business-friendly alternative to Silicon Valley and Wall Street. He has courted big business and many companies have relocated or expanded into Florida, taking advantage of the state’s low taxes.
Citadel founder Ken Griffin is one of those newcomers, relocating his hedge fund to Miami and planning a waterfront office tower on the site of an Adrienne Arsht estate he purchased. The billionaire has also invested in Miami real estate and donated to a political committee tied to Suarez.
His relationship with the mayor has been a source of controversy. When the Herald reported that Griffin provided Suarez and his wife with tickets to a glitzy Formula 1 event, a spokesperson for the firm said that Suarez “appropriately covered the cost of the tickets.” The mayor’s office later submitted an itemized statement reiterating that claim.