‘Uniquely qualified’: West Miami Mayor Eric Diaz-Padron endorses Kevin Marino Cabrera
Kevin Marino Cabrera dominates the money race.

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Cabrera now has endorsements from Florida’s youngest Mayor and its most recognizable one, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez.

Government relations specialist Kevin Marino Cabrera’s bid for the Miami-Dade Commission has gained support from yet another elected official whose city Cabrera hopes to represent in County Hall.

West Miami Mayor Eric Diaz-Padron. is endorsing Cabrera’s campaign. At 27, Padron became the youngest municipal Mayor in Florida when he won the West Miami mayoralty in April. He is also the son of former West Miami Mayor Carlos Diaz-Padron.

“I am proud to extend my strong support for Kevin Cabrera’s candidacy for the Miami-Dade County Commission,” Diaz-Padron said in a statement.

“Over the years, I have known and worked closely with Kevin on many important issues affecting our community and our state. Given his extensive experience in local, state, and federal government affairs, and in the private sector, I feel strongly that he is uniquely qualified to tackle the challenges we face in County Hall.

“I, therefore, strongly urge all the residents of the City of West Miami to consider Mr. Cabrera’s credentials and respectfully ask that they give him their trust and vote of confidence to help make him our voice on the County Commission.”

Cabrera said he is grateful for Tuesday’s “vote of confidence” from his Diaz-Padron, whom he called a friend.

“We have known each other for many years, and I know Mayor Diaz-Padron to be a man of integrity, who always stands for what he believes in,” Cabrera said. “We have worked together on many issues, and we have always placed the interests of our community’s residents first. I look forward to working with Mayor Diaz-Padron as the County Commissioner representing the residents of West Miami.”

The nod from Diaz-Padron is the 17th personal endorsement of Cabrera this election cycle. In addition to nationally recognized figures like former President Donald Trump, U.S. Rep. María Elvira Salazar and Miami Mayor Francis Suarez backing him, Cabrera has also received endorsements from Hialeah Mayor Steve Bovo, Coral Gables Mayor Vince Lago, Hialeah Council members Bryan Calvo, Vivian Casals-Muñoz, Luis Rodriguez, Carl Zogby and Miami Springs Councilwoman Jacky Bravo.

Cabrera also enjoys support from state chapters of Associated Builders and Contractors, Service Employees International Union and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

A first-time candidate for the Miami-Dade Commission, Cabrera boasts a sturdy political and lobbying résumé. He’s worked for a former Governor, a U.S. Senator, a Congressman and a Florida Supreme Court. For a time, he led the South Florida operations of the nonprofit LIBRE Initiative, a Latino conservative advocacy group. During the 2020 election, he was State Director for Trump’s re-election campaign and the Republican National Committee.

He now works as a senior vice president of global public strategy firm Mercury and has held elected office once before as a member of a Miami-Dade zoning board.

Cabrera is competing in a runoff against Coral Gables Commissioner Jorge Fors Jr. for the District 6 seat on the Miami-Dade Commission. The current seat holder, Rebeca Sosa, must leave office in November due to term limits. Sosa, a former West Miami Mayor who participated in Diaz-Padron’s swearing in, named Fors as her preferred successor.

Both candidates are Republican. However, the Miami-Dade Commission is technically nonpartisan, as are its elections.

Last month, Fors sued Cabrera and several others for defamation.

District 6 covers a north-central portion of Miami-Dade, including part or all of the cities of Coral Gables, Hialeah, Miami, Miami Springs, Virginia Gardens and West Miami. The district also contains Miami International Airport, one of the county’s top two economic engines, and a Miami golf course being redeveloped as a soccer stadium complex for the city’s Major League Soccer Team.

The General Election is on Nov. 8. Early voting begins Oct. 24 and runs through Nov. 6.

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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