MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Hey Miami-Dade, Carlos Gimenez wants to stay your mayor.
Thursday morning Gimenez filed paperwork at the Elections Department to open his re-election campaign.
“It’s about finishing what we’ve started and I look forward to running on my record and sharing my vision on the issues that matter with the residents we proudly serve,” said Gimenez in a statement.
During his first term as mayor, Gimenez said he’s had the people’s interest in mind. In addition to championing the largest property tax cut in the county’s history, Gimenez said he also “pushed to eliminate expensive and unnecessary perks for County executives starting by reducing his own salary by 50 percent and rejecting his predecessor’s benefits,” according to the statement.
The mayor claims they’ve also placed the county budget on a sustainable path without raising taxes.
Gimenez faces at least one high-profile challenger. Last March, Miami-Dade School Board member Raquel Regalado, who is also the daughter of Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado, filed papers to run.
Regalado, 40, is critical of Gimenez of what she sees is a failure to lead on important roadway and public transit issues. She slammed him for leaving 600 vacant positions at the police department.
Regalado hopes to get the support of county unions whose benefits Gimenez has cut to avoid tax hikes.
She has the apparent approval of billionaire Norman Braman who joined her in opposing the use of tax dollars for the private Sky Rise Miami project on the Bay. Gimenez supports the proposed mega mall, theme park in the Northwest County–which Regalado thinks is a tourist trap that would provide largely low-paying job.
Miami-Dade Commissioner Xavier Suarez has also suggested he may run against Gimenez next year.