Incumbent Joe Martinez looms large in Miami-Dade Commission District 11 election

Martinez is seeking fifth term on the Miami-Dade County Commission.

Incumbent Joe Martinez, the former Chairman of the Board, will be a formidable force as he seeks reelection to District 11 on the Miami-Dade County Commission. Martinez has amply led two competitors, former Rep. Robert Asencio and Cristhian Mancera, by a wide margin in fundraising. 

Martinez, who was first elected to the County Commission in 2000, served three terms before running an unsuccessful campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2014. Carlos Curbelo ultimately won that seat.

Martinez came back to run for his old seat in 2016 and won with 69% of the vote.

During his prior tenure, he was elected by his peers on the commission to be chairman of the board in 2005 and 2011.

Martinez came under fire earlier this year for a perceived breach of ethics. At issue is a mass transit project connecting Miami and Miami Beach. Last year, Miami-Dade received an unsolicited bid from a company called Genting to build a monorail line connecting those two cities. Martinez openly admitted he had called a potential rival bidder.

Asencio, a former Representative for Florida’s 118th House District, has been endorsed by a number of labor unions.

He served one term in HD 118 before being defeated by Rep. Anthony Rodriguez in 2018. Earlier this summer, Asencio prodded the Miami-Dade County Commission to be more pro-active in its response to COVID-19.

Both Asencio and Martinez have backgrounds in law enforcement. Asencio is the former Miami-Dade Schools Police Department captain, and Martinez served 17 years in the Miami-Dade Police Department.

Asencio is also a veteran of the U.S. Army Reserves who vows to fight for legislation to foster workforce development, job training, job creation and higher wages.

Martinez, the 1992 Officer of the Year, ultimately ranked as lieutenant before he left law enforcement.

Mancera is advocating a district priority on affordable housing, mass transit and growth and technology. Mancera graduated from the Fundacion Universitaria Jorge Tadeo Lozano in Colombia and hopes to make the district a tech hub if he’s elected.

Spencer Fordin

Spencer Fordin grew up in Port Washington, N.Y. and holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Florida. Before working for, he spent 16 seasons with and nearly three years as a general assignment reporter in the Cayman Islands. You can reach Spencer at [email protected]


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Renzo Downey, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Kelly Hayes, Joe Henderson, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Gray Rohrer, Aimee Sachs, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Andrew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn