Members of the Miami-Dade County Commission have selected Commissioner Jose ‘Pepe’ Diaz as their 2021-22 chair.
The members unanimously selected Diaz at a meeting Thursday morning. Commissioner Oliver Gilbert III was unanimously chosen as 2021-22 vice chair.
Diaz is a long-serving member of the Commission, having been first elected in 2002. He represents District 12, which covers areas west of Miami International Airport, such as Doral, Medley and Sweetwater, as well as parts of Hialeah to the north.
Diaz was most recently reelected in 2018 to a fifth term. He served as vice chair on the commission from 2009-10.
Gilbert will take over that role for 2021-22 just months after he was first elected to the District 1 seat on the Board of County Commissioners in August. He narrowly defeated Sybrina Fulton, the mother of slain teenager Trayvon Martin, for the seat.
Gilbert is the former Miami Gardens Mayor. He was appointed to the Miami Gardens City Council in 2008 and served there until he was elected Mayor in 2012. Gilbert faced term limits in 2020, prompting a run for the Commission.
Outgoing Commissioner Barbara Jordan endorsed Gilbert to take over her seat.
Thursday’s selection prompted congratulations from newly elected Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.
“I’m eager to work with both of you and our entire Board to uplift the voices of our constituents and build a better future for those we serve,” Levine Cava wrote on Twitter after the selections.
Congratulations to my friends and colleagues @CommishDiaz and @Ogilbert, the new Chair and Vice-Chair of the @MiamiDadeBCC! I'm eager to work with both of you and our entire Board to uplift the voices of our constituents and build a better future for those we serve.
— Daniella Levine Cava (@MayorDaniella) November 19, 2020
Levine Cava’s rival in the mayoral race, Esteban “Steve” Bovo, also congratulated Diaz and Gilbert in a separate post.
“Godspeed to both of you as you lead the board over the next two years,” Bovo wrote.
— Esteban Bovo (@EstebanBovoJr) November 19, 2020
Both Levine Cava and Bovo served on the County Commission before their respective mayoral runs.
Diaz will take over starting in 2021 for current Chairwoman Rebeca Sosa. Diaz will also step in for Sosa for the remainder of 2020 in any instance where she is unavailable.