Alex Penelas‘ mayoral campaign has announced a series of endorsements from local mayors as he seeks a return to the office he once held.
Penelas is one of nine candidates competing in the 2020 Miami-Dade mayoral contest. Wednesday’s announcement included statements from Mayors Raul Valdes-Fauli of Coral Gables, Crystal Wagar of Miami Shores and Glenn Singer of Golden Beach expressing their support for Penelas.
“A county as complex and diverse as Miami-Dade requires a mayor that has a bold vision and proven leadership,” Valdes-Fauli said in his endorsement of Penelas.
“More importantly, it requires collaboration and the foresight to build a coalition of partners and allies on the ground. In my three decades in public service, I have never met anyone who personifies those qualities more than Alex Penelas. His ability to build and maintain consensus is surpassed only by his passion for public service. I wholeheartedly endorse Alex Penelas’ run for Mayor of Miami-Dade County in 2020.”
Despite only formally entering the race in October, Penelas has led the race in fundraising so far. That’s thanks in part to raising money in the months prior to filing through his political committee, Bold Vision. But Penelas also posted a staggering $850,000 fundraising mark in October and followed that up with a $300,000 haul in November.
Wagar argues Penelas has the tools to lead the county once again.
“Alex Penelas is the epitome of a real public servant; he is compassionate, he holds the best interest of the community above all else, and his work ethic is unmatched,” Wagar said.
“I have no doubt that he is the best person to navigate the challenges that lie ahead and lead Miami-Dade County into reaching its full potential while elevating all our residents’ quality of life.”
Penelas previously served as Miami-Dade County Mayor from 1996 to 2004. Also competing in the 2020 contest are entrepreneur Monique Nicole Barley, current County Commissioners Esteban Bovo, Daniella Levine Cava, Jean Monestime and Xavier Suarez, former Miami mayoral candidate Robert Burke, real estate agent Ludmilla Domond and former County Commissioner Juan Zapata.
But Singer says Penelas is his choice in the crowded field.
“Having a mayor in County Hall who can work shoulder-to-shoulder with his municipal counterparts to find innovative solutions to our local issues is critical for the largest county in Florida. I am confident in Alex’s ability to deliver on his bold vision, while forging an effective partnership with local leaders. I am happy to give him my full and unwavering endorsement to become Miami-Dade County’s next mayor.”
Several other South Florida mayors have also endorsed Penelas’ campaign, including Anthony DeFillipo of North Miami Beach, Spencer Deno IV of Virginia Gardens, Orlando Lopez of Sweetwater and Roberto Martell of Medley.
Former Miami Beach Mayors Philip Levine and Neisen Kasdin and former Cutler Bay Mayor Peggy Bell are also backing Penelas.