A group of Florida’s largest labor unions stood united on Friday in support of Democratic candidate Robert Asencio’s bid for Miami-Dade County Commissioner.
Asencio, a candidate in District 11, had already earned an endorsement from the South Florida AFL-CIO Central Labor Council earlier this. month, but representatives from a number of unions stood together on a Zoom conference Friday to add their support.
Members of the United Teachers of Dade, AFSCME, South Florida AFL-CIO, Teamsters, CWA, Transport Workers Union and the IUPAT all offered their support.
“We haven’t had time off, we haven’t had any type of compensation that could maybe help us deal with the stress, with our finances,” said Rene Sanchez, president of AFCSME Local 163. “We’re dealing with concerns for our lives. I ask you, Mr. Asencio, when you win, and we’re going to win, that we put the pandemic where it needs to be at the top of the agenda.”
Asencio, who served as a state Representative in District 118 from 2016 to 2018, is running against incumbent Joe Martinez for a seat on the county commission.
“We see our future basically decaying before us because of lack of leadership. We see corruption and special interests favored over working families,” Asencio said.
“I seek to root out corruption as I’ve done for many, many years, ever since I was a police officer working on public corruption. We deserve better leaders. That’s what I stand for.”
Martinez has twice been elected by his peers to chair the Board of County Commissioners, and he won re-election in 2016 following a four-year absence from office.
Asencio lost to Rep. Anthony Rodriguez in HD 118 in 2018, and Martinez sought a U.S. Rep seat in 2014 that was ultimately won by Carlos Curbelo.
Fred Frost, a member of the Communications Workers of America, is hoping for change in District 11.
“I’ve never yet seen my commissioner at the forefront doing anything. [Martinez is] nowhere to be found.” he said. “We are the middle class builders in this community and it’s so nice to see that we have all come together to say [Asencio] is the guy who’s going to step up to the plate.”