Xavier Suarez announces run for Miami-Dade mayor

Possible opponent, Carlos Curbelo, says he won't run

By Michael Putney - Senior Political Reporter

MIAMI - Former City of Miami mayor and current county commissioner Xavier Suarez formally announced Friday he would run for mayor of Miami-Dade.

Making his announcement in South Miami, Suarez says transportation would be his top priority by building new miles of Metrorail lines north and south. The expansion would come by using money from a half-cent sales tax he says has been squandered.

"It's about transportation, transportation, transportation," said Suarez.

Suarez, a populist, will face off against a loaded race of candidates, including former mayor Alex Penelas, Commissioner Daniella Levine-Cava and possibly commissioners Steve Bovo and Jean Monestime.

Suarez says Penalas, who got voters to approve the transportation tax in 2002, didn't deliver on his promises.

If elected, Suarez would be Miami-Dade mayor while his son, Francis, was mayor of Miami, leaving some to wonder how that would work.

"Do you have a better system of collaboration and cooperation than between a mayor of the city and a mayor of the county than if there are two people who have almost identical philosophy?" said Suarez. 

However, one high-profile politician says he will not be running in the mayoral contest.

Former Republican congressman Carlos Curbelo issued a statement explaining why he will not throw his name in the hat.

"Although I'm confident I could win the election, the timing is just not right for our family," said Curbelo.

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