On Wednesday, Republican Miami Mayor Francis Suarez formally entered the campaign for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination by filing the necessary papers with the Federal Election Commission. A speech scheduled for Thursday night at the Reagan Library in California is when he will formally declare his candidature. After former President Donald Trump and current Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Suarez becomes the first Hispanic contender in the increasingly crowded Republican race.
45-year-old Suarez is the son of Miami’s first mayor, who was born in Cuba and is now a successful business and real estate attorney.
He told Politico in May that he will seek the Republican nomination “because I think I can grow the tent — not for an election, but for a generation” among Hispanic voters since he is more centrist than Trump and DeSantis. In May, Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s former advisor, claimed that she had “not been shy about telling President Trump that Suarez should be on the short, short list for VP should Trump be the nominee.”
Suarez has hinted that he plans to run on his record in Miami, which includes his work to transform the city into a technology and cryptocurrency center on par with Silicon Valley.
He has also said that he did not vote for DeSantis in the 2018 gubernatorial election and that he wrote in candidates other than Trump in the 2016 and 2020 elections.
Mr Suarez’s father, Xavier L. Suarez, served two terms as mayor of Miami in the 1980s and 1990s, thus the family was immersed in politics from an early age.
After that, the senior Mr. Suarez ran for and was elected to the Miami-Dade County Commission, serving tenure that coincided with those of his son.
In 2017, with 86% of the vote, Miami’s younger Mr. Suarez was elected mayor. He had previously served as a city commissioner.
He received 79 percent of the vote and was re-elected in 2021.
Voters in this city tend to lean Democratic at the national level, although in local elections, the mayor’s position is nonpartisan.
Although Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, with a population of around 100,000, came closer than most in the 2020 Democratic primaries, winning Iowa and placing second in New Hampshire, he slid and dropped out before Super Tuesday, making history as the first mayor to ever be elected president.
Mr. Suarez now has a far wider pool of potential customers in Miami, which is home to some 450,000 people. However, being mayor of Miami is a ceremonial position that requires little actual work.
In 2018, Mr. Suarez failed to convince voters to grant him strong-mayor powers, but he does have the right to veto legislation and appoint and remove the city manager. He avoided regular legislative business after having disagreements with municipal commissioners.
After Mr. Suarez was one of the first elected politicians to catch Covid in March 2020, he gained widespread attention throughout the country. The films he posted online about his condition shed light on a virus that at the time was mostly unknown to the general public.
Mr. Suarez asked, “How can I help?” on Twitter in response to a venture capitalist’s tweet about relocating Silicon Valley to Miami later that same year. — a remark that catapulted him into the tech scene and sparked a wider discussion about how city officials should improve their cities’ marketing.
Soon, he became known as a Bitcoin aficionado and a favorite among the computer professionals who had relocated to Miami to escape the epidemic. Even before the crypto business collapsed last year, his detractors said that he was more concerned with giving speeches at conferences throughout the nation than with solving the city’s most urgent problems, such as the lack of affordable housing.