Francis Suarez, Miami Mayor, files for Republican presidential nomination

Filed by Francis X. Suarez, Mayor of Miami Paperwork For the presidential campaign on Wednesday, former President Donald J. He set him up to join an increasingly crowded field of candidates to overtake Trump.

45-year-old Cuban-American Mr. Suarez was twice elected to his post in one of Florida’s largest cities, where general election voters chose Mr. Trump. He is scheduled Eloquence Thursday night at the Reagan Library in California.

Mr. Suarez’s supporters announced a super PAC on Wednesday to coincide with his filing, starting with an initial “six-figure” ad buy in three early voting states: Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada. The committee, SOS America PAC, is starting on solid financial footing Almost $6 million left From its previous iteration.

Its first ad — which opens with a sarcastic “warning” screen reading, “This video contains graphic content that liberals may find disturbing” — shows scenes of violent crime and a burning police vehicle, calling it “Joe Biden’s America” ​​and promoting the fall of Miami. Mr. Violent crime rate under Suarez.

The Republican field has grown to nearly a dozen hopefuls, including the predecessor, Mr. Trump was indicted this month in a federal case related to classified documents. Mr. Suarez also faces his home state’s governor, Ron DeSantis, who has consistently supported Mr. Has been Trump’s primary challenger, but is lagging far behind in the polls.

But Mr. Suarez is little known outside his home state and faces allegations of influence peddling on behalf of a real estate development firm.

Mr. Suarez was succeeded by his father, Xavier L., who served two terms as mayor in the 1980s and 1990s. Suarez grew up in Miami politics. Senior Mr. Suarez was later elected to the Miami-Dade County Commission, where his term was combined with that of his son.

Young Mr. Suarez served as a Miami city commissioner before being elected mayor in 2017 with 86 percent of the vote. In 2021, he was re-elected with 79 percent of the vote.

While the city’s voters traditionally lean Democratic in national elections, that is not the case for local elections, and the mayoralty is listed as nonpartisan on the ballot.

Neither has been elected to the White House, nor has a major party’s nomination directly from the mayor’s office — although Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., population about 100,000, came closer than most in the 2020 Democratic primary, finishing second in Iowa and New Hampshire, but before Super Tuesday. collapsed and exited.

Miami, with a population of about 450,000, Mr. Gives Suarez a significantly bigger starting point. But the position of Miami mayor is a part-time and largely ceremonial job.

Mr. Suarez can repeal the law and hire and fire the city manager, but he has no vote on the five-member city commission, and in 2018, he Failed to convince voters He should be given strong mayoral powers. After clashes with city commissioners, he began withdrawing from day-to-day legislative matters.

One of the first elected officials to contract Covid in March 2020, Mr. Suarez’s national profile began to rise. He documented his illness in online videos, giving most people at the time a glimpse into a virus. .

Later that year, when a venture capitalist tweeted the idea of ​​moving Silicon Valley to Miami, Mr. Suarez replied, “How can I help?” – That’s an answer That led him to the tech scene A comprehensive conversation about how leaders can best market their cities.

He quickly emerged as a cryptocurrency enthusiast and the darling of tech workers who moved to Miami during the pandemic. Even before the crypto industry plunged into crisis last year, critics accused him of being more interested in traveling the country to speak at conferences than tackling the city’s most pressing issues, such as unaffordable housing.

This spring, Mr. Suarez has come under fire over reports that he was offered large sums of money by a firm seeking help in developing a luxury condominium project. In a series of articles, The Miami Herald Mr Received at least $80,000 To consult with Developer, Location Ventures and Developer He paid him $170,000 “Cut red tape and secure critical clearances.”

This month, The Herald reported Mr. The FBI is investigating the developer’s hiring of Suarez.

Shane Goldmaker Contributed report.

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