Thursday 15 June 2023

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez Announces GOP Presidential Bid

 Republican Miami Mayor Francis Suarez filed paperwork on Wednesday to run for president in the upcoming 2024 election, according to new FEC filings.

Suarez joins an already crowded field of contenders, with former President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis being by far the top two leading candidates, followed by Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), former Vice President Mike Pence, and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley. All other candidates are polling at 1% or less in a recent poll with Suarez not showing up.

Suarez has gained some national attention in recent years for trying to bring top companies to the city, billing it as a future “crypto hub and the next Silicon Valley,” according to the Associated Press.

Some of the accomplishments Suarez can tout include a significant reduction in shootings and murders in the city, increasing funding for police, helping the city achieve a low unemployment rate, and becoming the top city in the country for tech job growth.

The 45-year-old is currently caught up in an FBI and SEC investigation into the business dealings of developer Rishi Kapoor in South Florida and Kapoor’s hiring of Suarez “as a consultant on local projects and his raising of funds from investors,” the Miami Herald reported late last week. The FBI’s criminal investigation focuses on the payments from one of Kapoor’s companies to Suarez and whether those payments “constitute bribes in exchange for securing permits or other favors from the mayor for Location Ventures’ mixed-use project in Coconut Grove.”

Complicating Suarez’s bid for the Republican nomination is his past support for Democratic politicians and left-wing issues. He has also attacked policies championed by Trump and DeSantis, never voted for Trump in the last two elections, and has echoed some of Trump’s more personal attacks on DeSantis, according to the AP. He also voted for DeSantis’ opponent in the 2018 gubernatorial race, Democrat Andrew Gillum, who was later found naked in a hotel room with a male escort and meth.

Suarez considers himself an ally of the “LGBTQ+ community,” according to posts on his social media channels, and has met with transgender activists and participated in honoring the “Transgender Day of Remembrance and Resiliency.”


Suarez was also a staunch supporter of mask mandates during the COVID pandemic and complained about DeSantis banning mask mandates and vaccine mandates. He also took “aggressive action to shut down businesses found to be in violation of safety guidelines during the coronavirus pandemic,” according to a WSVN report in December 2020.

He also assigned police officers to enforce mask violations, which included fining people for their first “offense.”

Other controversial policy issues for Suarez include him criticizing DeSantis for signing an anti-rioting law following the George Floyd riots; his support for the global climate change initiatives, including the Paris Climate Accords; he attended protests of some of Trump’s immigration policies and “said he does not plan to direct the Miami police department to enforce a law signed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis that makes it a felony to willingly transport an undocumented person,” according to local media.

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