The Miami-Dade County Commission has appointed Danielle Cohen Higgins to serve the final two years of former Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava‘s term on the Commission.
Cohen Higgins will take over Levine Cava’s seat in District 8 on the County Commission after Levine Cava’s 2020 mayoral bid. Commissioners made their decision during a Monday afternoon vote.
Cohen Higgins was one of seven candidates to qualify for consideration by the Thursday deadline. The Commission selected Cohen Higgins over former Sens. Frank Artiles and Dwight Bullard, former Cutler Bay Mayor Peggy Bell, Palmetto Bay Vice Mayor John DuBois, activist Alicia Arellano and medical practitioner Leonarda Duran Buike.
“Thank you very much for this vote of confidence,” Cohen Higgins said to the Commission after Monday’s vote. “I look forward to working with all of you for the betterment of Miami-Dade County.”
Cohen Higgins has a background in the field of complex commercial civil litigation and has also served on the executive committee of Ruth’s List, a group that supports pro-abortion rights Democratic candidates.
In May 2019, Cohen Higgins filed to run for Levine Cava’s seat in anticipation of a potential Special Election for the seat. But after Levine Cava’s Nov. 3 victory, the Miami-Dade County Commission opted to appoint a replacement in District 8, citing the $1 million-plus cost for a Special Election.
Several members opposed the appointment process, but nevertheless supported Cohen Higgins during Monday’s vote.
The Commission voted 10-1 to name Cohen Higgins to the seat. Former GOP Sen. Rene Garcia, arguably the most vocal critic of the decision to forgo a special election, voted against Cohen Higgins’ selection. But Garcia clarified his intent after his lone “no” vote.
“It’s not against the person,” Garcia explained. “For me, it’s just against the process.” He said he expressed those concerns to Cohen Higgins personally in a conversation before Monday’s vote.
Cohen Higgins was present during Monday’s vote and offered remarks to the community and Commission after her selection.
“Thank you to all of the neighbors and all of the community stakeholders that believed in me during this 19-month journey.”
“Many people are hurting. They are without work. And they are at home, sick in fear with their families. I look forward to working with all of you to revive Miami-Dade County.”
The District 8 seat will once again be up for election in 2022.