Now that the mayoral election next month is all but a technicality, the real question is who Commissioner Francis Suarez, our next city of Miami mayor, wants to have serve on the dais with him. He’s been non-commmital because he wanted to focus on his own race. But now that he’s got no opposition, not really, he can put his considerable weight behind the right candidate.
Too bad he still won’t tell us. Now, we can only guess.
“I’m not supporting anyone right now. I get along pretty much with everybody,” Suarez told Ladra this week, adding that no mayor or elected supported him when he first ran in 2009 even though he started out 25 points behind Manolo Reyes, who is leading all the polls for the seat now.
“And I liked it that way. I didn’t even use my middle name, which is the same as my father’s,” said Suarez, a chip off the old block that is Miami-Dade Commissioner Xavier Suarez, who was also the first Cuban mayor of Miami. “I wanted to rise on my own merits, my own ideas.”
The flip side of the coin is that he doesn’t want to piss anybody off.
“As mayor, you have a responsibility to create a coalition on the commission and set the tone and get things done. If you pick the wrong side, you may end up offending somebody and shooting yourself in the foot,” he said. “I want to hit the ground running. My responsibility isn’t to the candidates, it’s to the residents.”
But just who does Baby X think he’s fooling? Some political observers say he’s being a passive aggressive pussy who is secretly helping candidates but doesn’t have the cojones to publicly endorse them. “Like always, el tira le piedra y esconda la mano,” said one Miami voter and political junkie. It’s a Cuban saying that literally means he throws a stone and hides his hand but actually means he starts some kind of trouble and avoids the blame.
Ladra, too, thinks that he does, indeed, have a great deal of interest in the two commission races (especially in one). Why else would he spend money polling the commission races along with his own race and issues every time? And it is very difficult for Ladra to believe that he and his dad and his political allies in Coral Gables and beyond would just pass on this opportunity to silently grow allies and build their machinery, especially trying to help the candidates that Suarez knows will be friendlier and happier to work with him instead of on their own agenda.
Yeah, Joe Carollo, I’m talking about you. The former Miami mayor and Doral city manager likes to be a star and the protagonist and could battle Suarez for attention and control of the commission.
Despite the fact that the two candidates are apparently sharing Steve Marin as campaign consultant, the two families sorta hate each other. Ladra can’t beieve that’
Suarez wants to sit on the dais with the guy who basically unseated his father from office in 1997 for absentee voter fraud that may not have been X’s doing (it was former City Commissioner Humberto Hernandez and former State Sen. Alex Diaz de la Portilla, who las malas lenguas say is helping Carollo now). The election was thrown out and a second vote put Carollo in office. So, no, Ladra does not believe that Suarez isn’t actively working against Crazy Joe. You can’t trusth him because he could turn on you at any minute, like he has on almost everybody, even calling a press conference to stab you in the back. Just ask former Miami Mayor Maurice Ferre. We have to believe that Baby X is ABC — Anyone But Carollo.
Athough maybe not Tommy Regalado, son and namesake of the current mayor, tampoco. There’s no real love loss between these families either. Maybe also because Suarez had the nerve to try to run against Mayor Tomas Regalado four years ago before he had to abandon the campaign after several missteps. Suarez just got rid of one Regalado, you think he wants to be saddled with another? And compete for media darling status with another block chip?
That leaves us in District 3 with Zoraida Barreiro, the wife of Miami-Dade Commissioner Bruno Barreiro, or one of the other three guys who don’t seem to stand a chance next to the legacy candidates. Zory, as she is known, makes sense because her husband is a colleague of the new mayor’s father. This allegiance has legs. Also, Miami-Dade Commissioner Bruno Barreiro has not lost one election. Not for State Rep. Not for county commissioner.
There’s also a small possibility that Suarez likes Alfie Leon, the former chief policy advisor, for Commissioner Frank Carollo. But Ladra is making that hypothesis only because someone in his camp has defended Leon in private and Coral Gables Commissioner Vince Lago, a top Suarez ally, is backing Leon openly.
Still, it’s practically a toss up between the other two.
One might think Baby X is helping Reyes, who he beat by 260 votes when first elected in 2009, since he is leading all the polls, after all. Suarez has reportedly shared the polls with people to help Reyes raise campaign cash. And also allegedly lent Reyes his professional fundraiser — Brian Goldmeier reportedly made some calls on Reyes’ behalf.
But, on the other hand, Manolo is tight with the Regalados so there’s that little snag. And Baby X has been seen with Ralph Rosado at some events and neighborhood homeowner association meetings. Rosado has also shown that he can raise more money, which could be important to Suarez– or both Suarezes — in the future.
Maybe he’s hedging his bets. Does that still count as passive aggressive?