MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Daniella Levine Cava made history Tuesday night as she became Miami-Dade County’s first female mayor and the first non-Cuban Mayor since Stephen Clark in the early 1990s.
Her Republican opponent Esteban “Steve” Bovo who lost to the Democrat said that Cava’s campaign “did an effective job of making the race partisan and kudos to them.” But he did wish the new mayor success.
Cava is also the first new mayor in nine years replacing term-limited Carlos Giménez who won his race Tuesday defeating Debbie Mucarsel-Powell for Florida’s 26th Congressional District.
Cava said she will not be partisan, but will be a mayor for all 2.7 million of Miami-Dade County’s residents.
She will lead Florida’s most populous county and be Miami-Dade’s highest-ranking elected official and chief administrator, who will oversee a metropolitan government with 28,417 employees and an annual budget of approximately $8.9 billion.
Bovo gave his succession speech surrounded by some of Florida GOP heavy hitters including Sen. Marco Rubio and Lt. Jeanette M. Nuñez.
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Cava said she is going to work hard to restore the county’s economy and its health.
“People will come together to rally to get it done.”
She also said she has an opportunity to fix an infrastructure that has consistently been the cause of pollution to Biscayne Bay.
“We will save our Bay and create great jobs to do it,” she said.
Cava campaigned on a three-tiered platform: Secure: a plan to stop COVID-19 and revitalize the economy; Recover: support the small business community and make it a core pillar of the county’s economic development plan with a focus on building a stronger economy for startups and entrepreneurs, and Empower by investing in neighborhoods to give residents what she calls a “path to prosperity,” especially empowering Miami-Dade’s Black community who she said the county has “ignored for too long.”
A day after her historic win, Levine-Cava stressed the importance of unity.
“Unfortunately, the relationship between the county and the cities has not been one with collaboration and respect. And so, I’m going to change that,” she said.
While speaking to reporters at a food distribution event in Wynwood, the mayor-elect said she plans to work closely with her counterparts in both Miami and Miami Beach, adding that her first order of business will be to tackle the county’s ever-rising coronavirus caseload.
“You know, the COVID is with us. We cannot deny the virus,” she said. “And so, I will have a chief medical officer who to guide us in our actions.”