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Internal polling shows Daniela Levine Cava with a lead over Steve Bovo, something that should be taken with a grain of salt.

South Florida

Former Miami-Dade mayoral rival backs Steve Bovo, while Daniella Levine Cava adds support from congressional Democrats

Bovo and Levine Cava will face off on Nov. 3.

Former Miami-Dade County mayoral candidate Monique Nicole Barley is endorsing Esteban “Steve” Bovo after Barley failed to advance to a top-two runoff in the contest last week.

Bovo and fellow Miami-Dade County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava secured the top two spots in the Aug. 18 Primary Election. On Thursday, Democratic Reps. Donna Shalala and Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced they were backing Levine Cava’s bid.

Barley placed fifth in the seven-person field, courting just 5% of the vote last Tuesday. Barley, an entrepreneur, said she was “walking away from the Democratic Party” to endorse Bovo.

Adding to her critique of Democrats, Barley said of her campaign, “They didn’t help me and [I] did my best with no money. For the most part they didn’t believe in me.”

The Miami-Dade County mayoral race is a nonpartisan race, though Democrats and Republicans clearly signaled their preferences ahead of the Aug. 18 contest.

“I think that Steve Bovo has the right ideas to take Miami-Dade County forward,” Barley said in a Thursday statement announcing her endorsement.

“He has shown leadership, effectiveness, and a willingness to serve. Together we stand for a better quality of life for the residents of our county.”

Added Bovo, “I’m honored by the endorsement today of Monique Barley. It was a pleasure participating with Ms. Barley in numerous debates and forums, and getting to know her genuine commitment for our community. We share a common goal in wanting our county to provide a better quality of life for all its residents.”

Levine Cava had already secured support from Democratic Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell. Now, Shalala and Wasserman Schultz are adding their names to the list of Democrats endorsing Levine Cava.

“With the pain of a once-in-a-generation pandemic and economic downturn weighing heavily on our community, Miami-Dade is in need of a compassionate, empathetic leader; one with a steadfast commitment to bringing our community together and helping us heal,” Wasserman Schultz said.

“That leader is Daniella Levine Cava, and the choice could not be more clear. Daniella’s record proves that she is the only candidate in this race who can engineer a recovery that works for everybody, and I could not be more proud to endorse her historic candidacy for Miami-Dade County Mayor.”

Levine Cava would be the first woman Mayor in the county’s history if successful in November.

“Daniella Levine Cava has been a force for good in our community for many years, and I am proud to support her campaign to bring that legacy of service to the Miami-Dade County Mayor’s office,” Shalala added.

“She is a resourceful, balanced, and deliberate leader who will put our County on the right path, and she is by far the right choice — at the right moment — to lead our community forward.”

Bovo and Levine Cava will face off in the Nov. 3. General Election. Nearly $12 million has already been spent in the contest.

“These powerful women have inspired me through their service and dedication, and I am honored to receive their endorsements,” Levine Cava said Thursday.

“Together, I am confident that we will improve the quality of life for our residents, expand access to essential rights like health care and housing, and build a community that lives up to our values of inclusion, equality, and justice. These women are our champions in Washington, and come November, they will have a partner in Miami-Dade County’s Mayor.”
Written By

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to

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