Francis Suarez files to run for President

francis suarez ap
He’s expected to make a formal announcement soon.

He may not have announced it yet, but Republican Miami Mayor Francis Suarez is now officially running for President.

Suarez has filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission stating he is seeking the nation’s highest elected office.

The Miami Herald was the first to flag the filing, shortly after a political action committee (PAC) backing Suarez’s previously pending campaign launched a multistate ad blitz to bolster his bid.

An announcement may come Thursday during a speech he’s delivering at the Reagan Library in California, part of the conservative “A Time for Choosing Speaker Series.”

Four other candidates for the 2024 GOP nomination — former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and former Vice President Mike Pence — have preceded Suarez as speakers.

Shortly after news of Suarez’s filing broke, Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison called the Mayor “yet another contender in the race for the MAGA base who has supported key pieces of Donald Trump’s agenda.”

“As mayor of Miami, Suarez has repeatedly used his position to benefit himself, prioritizing pay raises for himself, accepting lavish gifts, and taking shady payments – all while ignoring the biggest challenges facing the people he was elected to serve,” he said in a statement. “As the MAGA field keeps growing, we’ll keep reminding the American people that there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between these extreme, self-serving candidates.”

Suarez is the first Hispanic candidate from either party running for President this year and the third from Florida, after Trump and Gov.

He has been openly mulling a presidential bid since before his landslide re-election in November 2021. In February, he embarked on a 10-city tour with former Donald Trump adviser Ja’Ron Smith.

The tour was ostensibly to share information and best public safety and crime prevention practices. But some of the stops — including Iowa and New Hampshire, where crime is relatively low — didn’t fit the stated mission of the trip, but are states Republican presidential candidates are expected to visit during next year’s Primary race.

City records flagged by Miami Herald reporter Joey Flechas show Suarez last week gave five City Hall staffers, including a top adviser and spokesperson, unpaid leave through the end of August — a signal that he planned to soon transition to a presidential campaign.

His fundraising activity also hinted at the loftiest of political aspirations. The Herald reported Suarez was steering political contributions into a PAC called America For Everyone — a nominal riff on his still-active state-level political committee, Miami For Everyone — that last year raised more than $6 million, including sizable contributions from big givers to the Mayor’s past campaigns. The PAC recently filed paperwork to rename itself SOS America PAC.

Noteworthy donations to the PAC include $1 million apiece from equity firm executive Orlando Bravo and brokerage and fintech CEO Howard Lutnick, and at least $750,000 in direct and indirect contributions from Jorge Mas, the managing owner of Miami’s Major League Soccer franchise, which last year won approval for a 99-year lease and redevelopment deal for of the city’s largest greenspace.

Other givers included $500,000 from cryptocurrency company Ripple Labs and $100,000 each from Miami real estate mogul Moishe Mana and former Coral Gables Commissioner Frank Quesada.

Suarez has also grown much more vocal in his criticism of the two GOP frontrunners.

He’s had a subtly adversarial relationship with DeSantis, who holds a distant second-place position in state and national polls, for years. It began when Suarez voted for DeSantis’ Democratic gubernatorial opponent in 2018, but it grew worse two years later, when the two butted heads over COVID-19 safety measures and the Governor stopped returning Suarez’s calls.

Last month, Suarez became even more forthcoming in his criticism of DeSantis, calling the Governor’s battle with Disney over the company’s opposition to Florida’s anti-LGBTQ laws “spite or maybe potentially a personal vendetta” that cost the state thousands of jobs and a billion-dollar investment.

He also took aim at Trump — whom he also didn’t vote for — and indicated he’d have the edge in age and tenor that would resonate with a “different segment” of voters than both the former President and the Democratic incumbent, Joe Biden.

“It’s important to be able to connect with a voting demographic that’s growing and that’s trending more,” he said during a “Face the Nation” interview in which he sidestepped a question about whether he’d consider running as Trump’s Vice President.

Assets and liabilities

At 45, Suarez — the son of former Miami Mayor and Miami-Dade County Commissioner Xavier Suarez — is among the youngest candidates seeking the Republican nomination. DeSantis is 44.

He has numerous successes to lean on. Under Suarez’s stewardship and promotion, as well as that of organizations like Refresh Miami, the city has attracted scores of tech and finance companies and rebranded itself as a sunnier, more tax-friendly alternative to Silicon Valley.

By the close of 2022, more than two years after a short tweet by Suarez helped ignite a rush of corporate relocations from California and New York to South Florida, the Miami metro area ranked eighth in the country for venture capital with $5.5 billion across 423 deals, according to the Q4 2022 Pitchbook-NVCA Venture Monitor — an 11.6% yearly increase. That’s particularly significant considering larger tech hubs are seeing 25% to 40% decreases.

He calls the city’s business boom “the Miami miracle,” an outlier metropolis whose popularity among corporations is further bolstered by its record-low tax rate, 12% job growth since he took office and the lowest per-capita homicide rate Miami has seen since 1964.

Suarez, who served on the City Commission prior to his election as Mayor, was among the champions of a $400 million bond voters passed in 2017 to prepare and combat sea level rise and add to the city’s affordable housing inventory. In August, FEMA downgraded the city’s flooding score, a move the Mayor credited to bond-funded efforts.

And while some South Florida pols like Deerfield Beach Commissioner Bernie Parnass have argued Suarez’s comparatively low profile in the 2024 GOP contest is too high a hurdle, others believe it isn’t necessarily a negative.

“Francis running for President is not a crazy conversation. I mean, the Republicans I know and Republicans throughout the country are starved for the adults in the room to grab the microphone back,” former Miami Beach Democratic Rep. Mike Grieco told Florida Politics in 2021, noting that both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama entered their respective Primary Elections as underdogs.

And Suarez is far from an unknown commodity. He is the immediate past President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and made No. 20 on Fortune Magazine’s 2021 “World’s Greatest Leaders” list, among other laurels.

But he’d also face a lot of tough questions about some of his city’s persisting troubles. Miami is among the most unaffordable cities to live in nationwide, though much of that appears to be more attributable to state policy.

A report out of Harvard University found that eight of the 10 areas with the highest year-over-year rent increases through the first quarter of 2022 were in Florida. Meanwhile, Miami led all areas in single-family home price growth, with a 39% uptick between March 2021 and March 2022.

MiamiCoin, a city-specific cryptocurrency Suarez promoted as potentially enabling residents to skip paying taxes, is an abject failure. The only exchange that hosted MiamiCoin activity, OKCoin, halted trading of the crypto in March after its value plummeted by more than 90% less than a year after its launch.

Suarez, a devout proponent of cryptocurrency who told Florida Politics the “next President (should be) a pro-crypto, pro-Bitcoin candidate,” remains unwavering in his optimism about its potential.

There are also mounting concerns about a blurring of the line between his elected office and work in the private sector. The Miami Herald recently reported Suarez, in his capacity as a real estate lawyer, was paid at least $170,000 over two years by developer Rishi Kapoor while advocating for a previously rejected — but since OK’d — $70-million project Kapoor was seeking approval for in the city’s Coconut Grove neighborhood.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle’s office, the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust are now investigating the matter.

In Suarez’s favor is the fact his position as Mayor confers little actual power aside from being able to veto legislation and hire and fire the city manager. That limitation also shielded him from some criticism over the City Commission’s 2021 termination of former Police Chief Art Acevedo, whom Suarez hired but then abstained from defending, and Commissioner Joe Carollo’s “weaponization” of city resources and personnel against a pair of local business owners that could cost the city upwards of $91 million in civil damages.

Suarez said the Herald is “obsessed” with his private dealings, which include work as counsel for the litigation firm Quinn Emanuel and senior operating partner for private equity firm DaGrosa Capital Partners.

His pay from those companies and other work comes in addition to the roughly $130,000 he receives annually in city salary pay and benefits.

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.


  • Dont Say FLA

    June 14, 2023 at 6:01 pm

    Don’t know a whole lot about Suarez, but based on his birds of a feather being Rhonda and Trump, I will say no thank you.

  • Elliott Offen

    June 14, 2023 at 6:19 pm

    AWWW HAW HAW HAW! Nobody really knows anyone’s political orientation anymore after the epic Trump train wreck. People masquerade as anything and everything. You never know this guy could be a democratic plant!!!

    • Earl Pitts American

      June 15, 2023 at 10:17 am

      Good knowing stuff Smelliott. My feelings exactly.

  • PeterH

    June 14, 2023 at 6:40 pm


    …… the GQP needs at least one more Klown Bus!

    • Dont Say FLA

      June 15, 2023 at 7:37 am

      Has Suarez been talking Culture War nonsense? Being he’s a Florida Man i assumed, but I hadn’t actually heard him do it. I suppose I hadn’t actually heard him say anything, ever. Maybe he can be the next Mayor Pete lol. Traffic Cabinet Member sounds good. Living in Miami, Suarez definitely knows traffic.

  • Michael K

    June 14, 2023 at 6:47 pm

    Just what America needs: Three versions of Florida man crowding the Clown Car, delusional in thinking America wants the circus they have to offer. Hahahaha.

  • Earl Pitts American

    June 14, 2023 at 7:11 pm

    Good evening America,
    I, Earl Pitts American, have bad news and good news for our Great Nation.
    The Bad: I, Earl Pitts American, am keeping my “POTUS Powder Dry” for the 2024 Presidental election.
    The Good: I, Earl Pitts American, received the calling to take the POTUS position in 2028 last night in a dream. Our Lord and Saviour came to me and advised The Trumpets will sound on December 25, 2030 and I, Earl Pitts American, must be in The White House to receive our Lord and Saviour at 3:00 PM EST 12/25/2030.
    Together we shall set up the next several years of Planatary Rule under our Lord and Saviour in order to save as many Souls as possable. Then at the appointed time the dook 4 brains sinners will be cast into the Lake of Fire for eternity.
    Many likely already logically figgured out end times were near when the Heathen Left came after our childern in the perverse and demented ways we have borne whitness to.
    Basically what I, Earl Pitts American, just shared with you is the condensed Book Of Revalation.
    Thats all the information I, Earl Pitts American, am able to share at this time.
    Thank you America
    Earl Pitts “Man Of God” American

    • Elliott Offen

      June 14, 2023 at 8:41 pm

      Creation theory has been debunked by much evidence… Uracil building blocks of RNA found in asteroids. Also Chixzulub asteroid caused the extinction or the dinosaurs 65 million years ago… paving the way for humans to evolve and create God. Humans and Dinosaurs couldn’t exist together, “God” didn’t make dinosaurs and then kill them to pave the way for humans, and the planet will be too hot to support most life in just a billion years. Eventually, the sun will expand and engulf the earth. Religion doesn’t teach all that does it? You know why? Because they made it all up!!! You’re intellectually in the Stone Age you mentally disordered ape!

      • Earl Pitts American

        June 14, 2023 at 9:20 pm

        Thanks Smelliott,
        Throwing in all that fake stuff from a video game was genious. You as always are the best at making me, Earl Pitts American, look the best.
        Keep up the great work Smelliott.
        Earl Pitts American

  • GOP Clown Show 🤡💩

    June 14, 2023 at 7:28 pm

    Watch this Florida hero spoil Ron’s Latino loser Catholics right down to 0.something % lolz

  • John Bumpus

    June 14, 2023 at 7:39 pm

    Sounds to me like Suarez is just like Tim Scott in South Carolina, both of whom will be claiming to be a ‘favorite son’ and are thus trying to ‘draw votes away’ from Trump to deny him the Republican delegates to win the Republican nomination next year. To call a ‘spade’ a ‘spade’, these people are ‘snakes in the grass’.

    • Dont Say FLA

      June 15, 2023 at 7:33 am

      Why would anyone with a brain want Trump to be the GOP’s candidate, except for the Democrats wanting to run against him? Trump lost and THEN he pulled January 6th and now he has actual legit indictments too. Too legit, Trump should quit.

      Democrats are not that bright, however, for wanting to run against Trump. Yes they will beat him, but it’s not good for anybody to have Trump doing more of Trump with a platform beyond the Twitter of his own making.

      Democrats should be going on the Sunday news shows saying “Please not Trump again. We prefer a fair fight, and one that’s good for the country. Instead, it looks like the GOP is sticking itself with Trump again.”

  • Tired of narcissistic leaders

    June 14, 2023 at 9:06 pm

    Suarez has earned MILLIONS – yes, millions – of dollars from “advising” private equity firms and “counseling” clients at law firms, all while serving as Mayor of Miami. Unfortunately, during his tenure as Mayor, the media has largely looked away. One can only hope that now that he is running for President, the media (if not his opponents) will do their research, so voters in Miami can understand exactly what Suarez is being paid for in over a dozen advisory roles with for-profit corporations and developers and whether that at all intersects with his authority. I suspect the answer to this question is all too clear.

    • Dont Say FLA

      June 15, 2023 at 7:35 am

      People are saying Suarez came from Cuba illegally and he’s has past involvements with Cuba’s Communist regime. He should show everyone his birth certificate. And Hunter Biden’s laptop has the proof of Suarez Communism which is why the GOP won’t release it.

  • Tommy Lift

    June 15, 2023 at 7:31 am

    ……and Suarez stated that he voted for Andrew Gillum.
    Dis €££!n Qualified. Just NO.

    • T.T. Boomba

      June 15, 2023 at 7:56 am

      Thank you Mr. Lift for contacting The DNC,
      We have known Francis was the “third wheel” in Andy’s hotel room down in Miami since day one. He was identifying as a woman that night and we cleared him of any wrong doing right away. We may revisit our decision should Francis ever become a serious contender. At this time we stand by Francis’s right to identify as a woman.
      We thank you for contacting the DNC and please go to our website to donate to our 2024 push to retain the White House.
      Thanks again, The DNC

Comments are closed.


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