The largest union representing public transit employees in Miami-Dade is backing incumbent County Commissioner Danielle Cohen Higgins and Doral Mayor Juan Carlos Bermudez, who is running to serve on the dais alongside her.
Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 291 is supporting Cohen Higgins and Bermudez, who join 15 other local, state and federal candidates from Miami-Dade seeking to win or hold onto elected office.
The endorsements come just over a week after Miami-Dade announced cuts to its Metrorail service and follow a series of delays in implementing an overhaul to the county Metrobus system called the “Better Bus Network.”
They also come during a nationwide shortage in transit operators, mechanics and support staff. That includes a shortfall of roughly 400 bus drivers in Miami-Dade, according to Transportation and Public Works Director Eulois Cleckley.
Amid skyrocketing living costs in South Florida, it is more critical than ever, TWU Local 291 President Jeffrey Mitchell said Tuesday, to support candidates who prioritize workers’ rights to safety and equitable pay.
“Miami-Dade County is facing one of the worst housing, wage and transportation crises in America today,” he said in a statement. “As the backbone of our local economy, (our members) need representatives who will address the issues that are most impacting their quality of life and who will fight to create a community where they can live and thrive with dignity.”
Other candidates TWU Local 291 endorsed this cycle include U.S. Rep. Val Demings, who is running to supplant U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio; U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson; Miami Sen. Annette Taddeo, who is running to unseat U.S. Rep. María Elvira Salazar; Miami Gardens state Rep. Christopher Benjamin; Miami-Dade state Rep. Juan Fernandez-Barquin; North Miami state Rep. Dotie Joseph; Miami-Dade state Rep. Anthony Rodriguez, who is running for the Miami-Dade Commission; former Bay Harbor Islands Mayor Jordan Leonard, who is running for House District 106; Miami-Dade School Board members Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall, Marta Pérez and Maria Teresa “Mari Tere” Rojas; Palmetto Bay Mayor Karyn Cunningham; state Senate candidates A.J. D’Amico and Janelle Perez; and Miami-Dade School Board candidate Maribel Balbin.
Early voting for the Aug. 23 Primary Election runs every day from Monday, Aug. 8, to Sunday, Aug. 21. The General Election is on Nov. 8.