Emgage Action PAC is offering a dual endorsement in the race for Miami-Dade County Mayor, as the group is backing both Daniella Levine Cava and Alex Penelas.
Emgage Action PAC is the political arm of Emgage USA, an organization founded in 2006 that aims to boost Muslim-Americans’ presence in politics.
“We know that Commissioner Levine Cava would provide our County’s Muslim residents a platform and a seat at the table to speak on the issues affecting our community and to represent us fairly and equally,” said Vetnah Monessar, the group’s Florida executive director.
Added the group on Penelas, a former county Mayor, “As Mayor, Penelas established the Asian American advisory Board and is committed to working with Muslim-American institutions if elected. As Miami-Dade Mayor, he will place qualified Muslim-Americans in senior positions in his administration.”
The co-endorsement comes after a bit of confusion Thursday, as both Levine Cava and Penelas campaign teams claimed they had earned the sole endorsement from the group. Emails from Emgage Action to the respective campaigns viewed by Florida Politics do not make mention of any planned dual endorsement.
A representative from Emgage Action says their intent was not properly communicated to campaign staff. The group’s members offered split support between Levine Cava and Penelas, according to that spokesperson, which led the organization to offer a dual endorsement.
Also competing in the contest are Carlos Antonio De Armas, entrepreneur Monique Nicole Barley, County Commissioners Esteban “Steve” Bovo and Xavier Suarez and real estate agent Ludmilla Domond. Current Mayor Carlos Giménez is term-limited.
“This endorsement from our Muslim American community is a true honor for me,” Levine Cava said Thursday.
“They know that discrimination, prejudice, and hate have no place in our beautiful County, and I will make sure that under my administration they have an ally in County Hall that will always listen, show them the respect they deserve, and usher in opportunities to uplift their communities.”
The seven candidates for Miami-Dade County Mayor will face off Aug. 18 alongside Florida’s primary elections. If no candidate receives a majority of the vote — a high likelihood in the seven-person field — the top two vote-getters will advance to a runoff Nov. 3.