Is M-Dade Commissioner Bovo running for County mayor in 2020

Wednesday, January 30, 2019 0 Comments

Is M-Dade Commissioner Bovo running for County mayor in 2020
Though he hasn’t officially announced his candidacy for mayor, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Esteban Bovo Jr., is rumored to replace Mayor Carlos Gimenez in 2020, when both of their terms come to an end.
Since voters approved a county charter change in 2012, which imposed term limits for county commissioners, Bovo is banned from running for reelection and reportedly has his sights set on the mayoral seat.
According the county’s charter, Gimenez can only run for two consecutive terms and then he is termed-out.
Bovo, who represents District 13, which includes Miami Lakes and Hialeah, is an ally of Gimenez, and according to county hall insiders, he hand picked Bovo to run for the strong mayor position when his term is up.
But with the rumor mill swirling on the growing numbers of potential candidates for mayor, Bovo, 56, is facing an uphill battle to succeed Gimenez.
Fellow County Commissioner Xavier Suarez is also rumored to run for mayor, who Bovo beat out to lead the commission as its chair in 2016, and a political nemesis of Gimenez.
Former Republican U.S. Congressman Carlos Carbelo, who lost his reelection bid against Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell in November, is reportedly seeking the mayoral seat, though his supporters may encourage him to run for congress again in 2020.
County Commissioner Daniella Levin Cava is also mulling a run for mayor, and former Lt. Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera, a former county property appraiser, is tight-lipped following his supporters calling on him to run in 2020.
Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho’s name was also mentioned as a possible candidate, and Miami-Dade’s first-ever mayor, Alex Penelas, is reportedly launching a campaign for mayor.
Penelas was not a strong mayor during his two terms in office (1996-2004).
His successor, Carlos Alvarez, launched a petition and convinced voters to change Miami-Dade to a strong-mayor-form of government but was later recalled from political office.
Possibly joining the fray is former County Commissioner Juan Zapata, who dropped his reelection bid in 2016, when then-former Commissioner Joe Martinez filed papers to run against him for his old seat, which he vacated in 2012 to run for mayor. Martinez won the District 11 seat.
Though the mayoral and county commission races are nonpartisan, Republicans are seeking to stay in control at county government, especially the mayor’s office, while Democrats are hoping to shift the power to blue during the 2020 presidential election.
Penelas was the only Democratic mayor for Miami-Dade.
Candidates will run in the primary in August of 2020, and if a candidate doesn’t muster at least 50 percent of the votes the top two vote getters square off in November.
Bovo, a Republican and former State Representative, may seek to resume his political career if he runs for mayor.
As chair of the county commission, Bovo proposed to create an east-west commuter line on existing cargo tracks running parallel to State Road 836.
His plan initially drew support but later took a back seat to Gimenez’s broader effort to expand rail countrywide through the SMART Plan.
Bovo was the rare dissenting voice against the SMART plan, which he said encouraged studying the transit problem at the expense of action.
Last year, commissioners approved a plan to expand bus services further south in Miami-Dade instead of extending metro rail further north and south.
Bovo also has restructured the commission committee system and established a chairman’s Policy Council to address several key issues facing the county. The Policy Council has been tasked with developing recommendations to address issues such as mass transit expansion funding, courthouse and jail infrastructure funding, sea level rise, housing affordability, and the gun violence epidemic.

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