Several city mayors inside Miami-Dade County say they’re backing Democratic Sen. José Javier Rodríguez in his Senate District 37 reelection bid.
That group of mayors includes Republicans such as Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and Palmetto Bay Mayor Karyn Cunningham.
“Sen. Rodríguez has always prioritized our constituents here in Miami during his time in public service,” Suarez said Thursday.
“I’m proud to endorse the reelection of Jose Javier Rodriguez and look forward to continuing working with him to look out for Miami’s residents in the Florida Senate.”
Sen. Rodríguez won the SD 37 seat in 2016 by just over 3 percentage points to succeed GOP Sen. Miguel Diaz De la Portilla. The district spans portions of Miami-Dade County including Coral Gables, Key Biscayne, and Palmetto Bay.
“The most important role of an elected official is to serve the people who elect them into office,” Cunningham said. “Sen. Rodríguez has consistently focused on the needs of our constituents during his years of service.”
Coral Gables Mayor Raúl Valdés-Fauli, Pinecrest Mayor Joseph Corradino, Key Biscayne Mayor Michael Davey and South Miami Mayor Sally Phillips are also backing the incumbent’s reelection campaign.
“I have been proud to work alongside José Javier Rodríguez since he was first elected to the Florida Legislature in 2012,” Valdés-Fauli added.
“Throughout his years of service, I have come to know Sen. Rodríguez as a strong leader dedicated to the hardworking families and small businesses of District 37.”
Sen. Rodríguez is competing against Republican candidate Ileana Garcia and non-party affiliated Alex Rodriguez in the SD 37 contest.
“Over the course of the pandemic, José Javier Rodríguez has prioritized the families and residents of Miami-Dade,” Corradino said.
“His advocacy for out-of-work Floridians and support for hard-hit small businesses in the district is just the latest example of why I’m honored to support his campaign for reelection.”
Davey, the Mayor of Key Biscayne, is a former Republican who swapped his party affiliation to join the Democrats last year.
“The Village of Key Biscayne has been lucky to have a champion like José Javier Rodríguez serving on our behalf in the Florida Senate,” Davey said.
Added Mayor Phillips of South Miami, “José Javier Rodríguez has an established track record of fighting for everyday families, including in South Miami. From passing the first significant piece of legislation addressing climate change in Florida’s history to securing millions of dollars in resources for District 37, Sen. Rodríguez is a results-oriented public servant.”
Sen. Rodríguez has a large cash advantage over Garcia. She founded Latinas For Trump and went on to work in the Donald Trump administration, serving as a deputy press secretary at the Department of Homeland Security.
Senate Republicans backed Garcia in her challenge to Sen. Rodríguez. The incumbent Democrat, however, is looking to paint himself as the consensus candidate as he seeks a second term in the Senate.
“I’m extremely proud of what we’ve been able to achieve over the last four years by putting party affiliation aside and focusing on real solutions for the people of District 37,” Sen. Rodríguez said Thursday.
“It has been very rewarding to partner with these mayors as we’ve confronted the climate crisis, funded critical infrastructure projects in our communities, and fought for increased access to affordable housing for our constituents. I’m grateful to have their support as we continue our work together on behalf of the people of Miami-Dade.”