MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami-Dade County Mayor is one of the most powerful political positions in the state. Those running for the position in this year’s elections include several well-known names and few political newcomers.
“I decided to jump into the race to shake things up,” said Carlos de Armas, an Uber driver with a Master’s degree from FIU, former trucking company owner and the only write-in candidate. “What separates me from the candidates is because I am from the crowd of the people. I am coming straight from the people. I am part of them.”
Daniella Levine Cava was first elected to the county commission in 2014. She’s also a lawyer and if elected, would become the first female Mayor ever in Miami-Dade County.
“To make sure everybody has the opportunity for jobs, good standard of living, protect our environment to make sure we fix our traffic, and now in this pandemic that we have the right public health solutions as well as support our businesses,” said Cava.
Esteban “Steve” Bovo Jr. is a sitting county commissioner, former state representative and FIU graduate.
“I am not one to criticize anybody, but I will tell you this we are going to work on the transportation and we are gonna and we are gonna do it, transportation and housing so we can address two critical needs in our community, mobility and housing,” said Bovo.
Former Miami Mayor and current county commissioner Xavier Suarez declined to be interviewed for this story.
However, he did speak to CBS4’s Jim DeFede On Facing South Florida. Click here to watch that interview.
Another familiar name is Alex Penelas. It’s been 16 years since Penelas was Mayor of Miami-Dade County and he’s leaning on experience to garner votes.
“I think experience first and foremost and the fact I did the job before I have been in the private sector for 15 years. That experience and the fact I have lead Miami-Dade through so many crisis’ in the past, that stands me out.”
Monique Nicole Barley owns a collection agency related to the politically powerful Hardemon family.
“I believe I could bring some type of diversity and quality of life here in Miami-Dade County. I do have the experience of leadership. I have the knowledge of the budget. I have accounting skills and I have management skills. I believe I could bring something different to Miami-Dade County.
Ludmilla Domond is a real estate broker who is currently in retail sales with a Master’s Degree from St. Thomas University.
“So the way I look at it. It is economic development, housing and our transportation. Let us get that done. Let us get it done the right way. By voting for me you’ll get it done. I’ll get it done.”
If no candidate receives 50% of the vote on Tuesday, the top two candidates will advance to a runoff election on November 3rd.
These candidates are running to replace Carlos Giménez, who was term-limited and is now running for a congressional seat.