Transit union endorses ‘formidable public servant’ Mike Grieco for Miami Beach Mayor
Like outgoing Mayor Dan Gelber, Mike Grieco’s candidacy offered state lawmaking experience to the Miami Beach Mayor’s office. Image via Florida Politics.

The union claims a bargaining unit of more than 2,500 Miami-Dade County transit workers.

A union representing thousands of Miami-Dade County transit workers is throwing its support behind former Miami Beach Rep. Mike Grieco’s drive to be the city’s next Mayor.

Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 291 announced its endorsement of Grieco, a former City Commissioner, as its preferred successor to term-limited Mayor Dan Gelber.

“Over the years, Rep. Grieco has proven to be a formidable public servant and a member of this community who puts residents first and who is willing to use his voice and his platform to do the right thing and stand up for the people of Miami-Dade,” TWU Local 291 President Jeffrey Mitchell said in a statement.

“More importantly, he understands the critical role that mass transit, mobility and connectivity play in creating a thriving and sustainable community.”

An AFL-CIO affiliate, TWU Local 291 claims a bargaining unit of more than 2,500 bus drivers, Metrorail train operators, maintenance workers and other transit employees of Miami-Dade.

Their work is vital to the livelihoods of many Miami Beach residents who work in the service industry, Grieco said in a statement thanking the union for its backing and promising to work on improving transit provisions as Mayor.

“I want to thank President Mitchell and TWU Local 291 for putting their faith in me and my leadership,” he said.

“As a community that relies heavily on our service, hospitality, and tourism labor force to thrive, it is of paramount importance that we begin to seriously tackle our mobility issues in Miami Beach. Expanding countywide and inter-county public transit and ensuring that existing and future bus routes are optimized for commuting and access to basic services are key to improving quality of life for our residents and our visitors, and achieving our resiliency goals for the future.”

Grieco, a Democrat, faces three opponents in the technically nonpartisan race to succeed Mayor Dan Gelber, who must leave office due to term limits: no-party Vice Mayor Steven Meiner, fellow Democrat and former City Commissioner Michael Góngora, and former MTV and HBO executive Bill Roedy,Bill Roedy a first-time candidate and member of the Independent Party.

Six others are competing for three seats on the Miami Beach Commission.

Republican-turned-no-party real estate broker Andres Asion, who sits on the city’s Board of Adjustment, and Democratic marketing pro Tanya Katzoff Bhatt, a member of the Miami Beach Planning Board, are running for the Group 4 seat, which Meiner is vacating.

For Group 5, Democratic hotelier and activist Mitch Novick is taking on no-party skincare marketing director David Suarez to succeed Commissioner Ricky Ariola.

Finance professional Joe Magazine, also a Planning Board member, faces local Marcella Novela, an arts enthusiast who chairs the city’s Art in Public Places board.

Like Asion and Suarez, Magazine and Novela have no party affiliation but were previously registered as Republicans.

Miami Beach elections are nonpartisan. After the city’s General Election on Nov. 7, 2023, the city will hold a Nov. 21 runoff for any race in which no candidate received more than 50% of the vote.

In such a case, the two candidates who earned the most votes in each contest will face each other.

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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