MIAMI- (CBSMiami.com) Miami-Dade Commissioner Carlos Gimenez may be the newest candidate in a race which has not yet begun, the battle to replace a mayor who has not yet been recalled.
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez faces a March recall vote sparked by his decision to endorse a tax increase while raising the pay of some county workers. Gimenez, whose district 7 covers the city of Miami, Key Biscayne, and Coral Gables along with other municipalities, has called a news conference for Monday to make an announcement, “regarding his future political plans.”
Giminez doesn’t specifically mention the Mayor’s race, but he has said in the past that he was ‘seriously considering’ a run for Mayor.
At least one potential challenger believes the commissioner is about to seek higher office. Former state Representative Marcelo Llorente issued a statement in response to what he believes will be Gimenez’s campaign.
““Voters are rightfully frustrated with the lack of response coming from their local government leaders,” Lorrente said in a brief statement e-mailed to reporters. “The status quo must end and it starts by offering voters an opportunity to elect leaders who will be bold with their ideas and govern with integrity and respect.”
Giminez is in his second term as a Miami-Dade commissioner, and was unopposed in his last election. He served as Miami’s fire chief for 9 years, spending 25 years in the department, and in 2000 was named Miami’s city manager, a post he held until 2003. A year later, he successfully ran for a seat on the Miami-Dade commission, winning in his first attempt at public office, elected by voters he had served as as a bureaucrat.
Gimenez has often been at odds with Martinez while on the commission. Backers say his experience as City Manager and running Miami’s fire department would serve voters well if he was elected Mayor. Miami-Dade is phasing out the position of County Manager, and the ‘strong mayor’ powers of Miami-Dade’s elected mayor will increase the mayor’s position as the top county bureaucrat.