Miami-Dade Mayor tops onrush of leaders backing Danielle Cohen Higgins for County Commission
Danielle Cohen Higgins (left) is eying affordable housing ingenuity, county contract reform and bridging a gap between Palmetto Bay and Cutler Bay. Image via Danielle Cohen Higgins.

Daniella Cohen Higgins
‘Danielle Cohen Higgins has the experience, compassion, and dedication to deliver for South Dade.’

Miami-Dade’s top elected official, Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, and 17 other current and former local leaders are throwing their support behind Danielle Cohen Higgins’ bid to keep her County Commission seat this year.

Cohen Higgins was appointed in December 2020 to replace Levine Cava in Miami-Dade Commission District 8. Less than two years later, several of her elected constituents are joining Levine Cava and six County Commissioners to endorse Cohen Higgins for a full and elected four-year term.

“As Mayor of Miami-Dade County, I’ve spent my first year in office advocating for our community, delivering results for our residents, and standing up for what’s right. And as the former County Commissioner for District 8, I have a deep understanding of the kind of leadership South Dade needs to continue moving forward towards a safe, healthy, and prosperous future,” Levine Cava said in a statement.

“I can tell you that Danielle Cohen Higgins has the experience, compassion, and dedication to deliver for South Dade. That’s why I’m proud to endorse her for her first full term as County Commissioner for District 8.”

Six of Cohen Higgins’ peers on the county dais — Chair Jose “Pepe” Diaz, Vice Chair Oliver Gilbert III and Commissioners Sally Heyman, Eileen Higgins, Jean Monestime and Rebeca Sosa — are also backing her election.

So is former Commissioner Dennis Moss, who served District 9 on the County Commission from 1993 to 2020.

Cohen Higgins and Commissioner Kionne McGhee, who succeeded Moss, represent Miami-Dade’s southernmost areas, including the municipalities of Cutler Bay, Homestead, Palmetto Bay and Pinecrest.

Four-fifths of the Cutler Bay Council — Mayor Tim Meerbott and Council members Roger Coriat, B.J. Duncan and Suzy Lord — gave Cohen Higgins their nod.

Homestead Council members Patricia Fairclough-Staggers and Larry Roth did the same, as did Pinecrest Village Council member Anna Hockhammer, former Cutler Bay Mayor Peggy Bell, former Pinecrest Mayor Evelyn Greer and former Homestead Council member Elvis Maldonado.

Bell’s endorsement is particularly noteworthy, considering she was one of six qualified candidates who vied for the District 8 seat on the Miami-Dade Commission in 2020.

Cohen Higgins is one of several new Miami-Dade Commissioners who bring a legal background to their work in county government. She is a lawyer in private life and currently works as the founding lawyer and partner at Cohen Law.

Her public service prior to her appointment included services on the statewide board of Ruth’s List Florida, which again endorsed her for the Miami-Dade Commission this year.

She has also been a board member of the South Florida American Heart Association and Take Stock in Children, among other roles.

Cohen Higgins is the current Commission-appointed board member of The Children’s Trust, a nonprofit that invests property tax revenue into programs that improve the lives of children.

Her one opponent this year is Hammocks Citizen Advisory Committee Vice Chair Alicia Arellano, who held $350 by March 31 after not raising any funds since September 2020.

Cohen Higgins, meanwhile, has more than $558,000 between her campaign account and political committee, Fight for Our Future.

In a statement, Cohen Higgins said she is “incredibly humbled by the overwhelming support” her campaign has received.

“I am especially grateful to Mayor Levine Cava for her support as she represented this district for six years,” she said.

“The support our campaign continues to receive because of the grassroots movement we are building in support of a more affordable, accessible, and resilient Miami-Dade County. I am grateful to the supporters for joining our campaign because together, we will build a brighter South Dade community for everyone.”

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.


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