HomePolitics5 things you should know about Francisco Suárez - UnlistedNews

5 things you should know about Francisco Suárez – UnlistedNews

Francis X. Suárez, the two-term mayor of Miami who formally announced his entry into the 2024 presidential race on Thursday, presents himself as a fresh face for the Republican Party: a 45-year-old in a field led by a septuagenarian, and a Cuban-American in a party whose elected officials are majority white.

In a speech at the Reagan Library in California on Thursday night, brimming with references to decades-old Republican phrases like George HW Bush’s “thousand points of light,” Suárez declared his candidacy with one more reference, since your own catchphrase a twitter post he made in 2021 in response to a venture capitalist who suggested moving Silicon Valley to Miami.

“I believe that America remains a shining city on a hill whose eyes of the world are upon us and whose promise needs to be restored,” he said, a day after filing his candidacy papers. “And I think the city needs more than a screamer or a fighter. I think you need a servant. You need a mayor. My name is Francis Suárez and I am here to help.”

Here are five things to know about Mr. Suárez.

Mr. Suárez was elected mayor in 2017 with 86 percent of the vote and re-elected in 2021 with 79 percent of the vote, stunning margins made possible by the fact that he faced only token opposition. (Miami’s mayoral elections are officially nonpartisan.)

He will draw heavily on his experience as mayor, as the only other elected position he has held was on the City Commission, a job not known for boosting presidential campaigns. But the Miami mayor’s office is part-time and largely ceremonial.

Suárez’s main powers are to veto legislation and to hire and fire the city manager. He has no vote in the Municipal Commission. Shortly after taking office, he introduced a proposal to give himself more power, including authority over Miami’s budget and workforce, but the voters roundly rejected it.

This sets Suárez apart from other incumbent or former mayors running for president, who already faced long odds. The three who ran prominent campaigns for the Democratic nomination in 2020 — Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, and Michael Bloomberg and Bill de Blasio of New York City — held more authority than Suárez.

In 2021, Mr. Suárez grabbed headlines for announcing that he would accept his salary in Bitcoin and for suggesting that Miami pay city workers, accept tax payments, and invest public funds in Bitcoin as well.

He hailed a deal in which cryptocurrency exchange FTX, founded by the now-disgraced Sam Bankman-Fried, acquired the naming rights to the Miami NBA arena. (The deal was terminated this year after FTX collapsed.)

He also promoted a branded cryptocurrency called MiamiCoin. Part of the profits went to the city’s coffers, and Suárez suggested that he could eventually allow Miami to eliminate taxes. initial results they were promisingbut the value of the coin soon plummeted, and the exchange that had hosted it suspended MiamiCoin trading this year.

Mr. Suárez continued to support cryptocurrency even as the industry crashed last year. “I call them tsunamis of opportunities”, told The Washington Post. “And we have two options. We can take out a surfboard and ride the wave like a tsunami. Or we can hide and try to run from it and pretend it’s not there and potentially get swept away.”

Mr. Suárez has come under fire over reports that a company paid him tens of thousands of dollars seeking help moving forward on a luxury condominium project.

the miami herald reported last month that a developer, Location Ventures, had paid Mr. Suarez, who is a real estate attorney, at least $170,000 to consult with him and “to help cut red tape and obtain critical permits.” This month, The Herald reported that the FBI was investigating “whether the payments constitute kickbacks in exchange for obtaining permits or other favors from the mayor” for a project in the Coconut Grove neighborhood.

Mr. Suárez has denied any wrongdoing and dismissed The Herald’s reports as the product of political bias. In an interview on Fox News a few days before announcing his campaign, he suggested that his moves toward the presidential nomination had prompted journalists to attack him after “13 impeccable years in public service.”

Mr. Suárez did not vote for the re-election of Donald J. Trump as president in 2020. He also did not vote for Ron DeSantis for Governor of Florida in 2018; he voted for DeSantis’ Democratic opponent, Andrew Gillum, and he said he supported Mr Gillum’s calls for a higher minimum wage because a “basic standard of living” was “a fundamental human right”.

In early 2021, he criticized Mr. DeSantis for barring local leaders from enforcing mask mandates as Covid-19 cases rose. telling CBS News that he had unsuccessfully tried to contact Mr. DeSantis and persuade him to allow officials “to institute things that we think are common sense, that we believe are supported by science, that we can show are supported by science.”

And two years earlier, he co-wrote a New York Times op-ed with Ban Ki-moon, the former secretary-general of the United Nations, emphasizing the damage climate change was already wreaking on Miami. “There is not a single aspect of our daily lives that is not affected by climate change,” he and Ban wrote.

When other Republicans have changed their minds about Trump, it’s usually been to oppose him after previously supporting him, à la Chris Christie. Suárez has gone in the opposite direction: Although he did not vote for Trump in 2020, he has said that he will in 2024 if Trump is the Republican nominee.

He told Fox News this month that he was motivated by “a fear of Joe Biden’s America.”

“It’s an America where the poor get poorer, it’s an America where America gets weaker, and it’s an America where the possibility of China being the only superpower is something that scares the hell out of me,” he said.

“What has changed and what has happened is that we have tested what a dysfunctional government can do to destroy our country in a short period of time,” Suárez added, “and if it takes that into the future, it is incredibly scary.”

When Mr. Trump was impeached in New York this year, Mr. Suárez told the Miami Herald that he viewed the Manhattan district attorney’s decision to pursue the case as “a slippery slope.” After Trump’s second impeachment this month, he went further, saying in the Fox News interview that he “feels un-American.”

patricia mazzei contributed reporting.


Sara Marcus
Sara Marcushttps://unlistednews.com
Meet Sara Marcus, our newest addition to the Unlisted News team! Sara is a talented author and cultural critic, whose work has appeared in a variety of publications. Sara's writing style is characterized by its incisiveness and thought-provoking nature, and her insightful commentary on music, politics, and social justice is sure to captivate our readers. We are thrilled to have her join our team and look forward to sharing her work with our readers.


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