Firefighters union, Teamsters back Daniella Levine Cava for re-election as Miami-Dade Mayor
Daniella Levine Cava is Miami-Dade's de facto Sheriff.

‘In times of uncertainty, Mayor Levine Cava has proven herself a steady and compassionate leader.’

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava’s re-election effort now has support from county chapters of the International Association of Fire Fighters and Teamsters unions.

This month, Metro Dade Firefighters Local 1403 and Teamsters Local 769, which represent thousands of first responders and logistics professionals across South Florida and beyond, announced that they are again backing Levine Cava this year.

The unions previously endorsed the Mayor during her 2020 bid for Miami-Dade’s top executive post and when she successfully ran for the County Commission before that.

“In times of uncertainty, Mayor Levine Cava has proven herself a steady and compassionate leader. Her ability to make tough decisions while prioritizing the needs of our firefighters and the public at large is a testament to her commitment to putting public safety as a top priority,” Local 1403 President Bill McAllister said in a statement.

“From upgrading infrastructure to investing in community paramedic programs, her holistic approach reflects a genuine concern for the well-being of every resident. Mayor Levine Cava’s dedication to the public good is evident in her strategic initiatives that not only prioritize a capable emergency response, but her emphasis on fostering programs that proactively unite communities, further bolstering our already formidable resilience programs.”

Teamsters Local 769 President Josh Zivalich said his organization is proud to endorse Levine Cava, who is the mother of a Teamsters union member.

“Mayor Daniella Levine Cava’s strong advocacy for workers’ rights, fair wages, and safe working environments for all has been proven time and time again over decades of service to our South Florida community,” he said.

Levine Cava called Miami-Dade Fire Rescue personnel “the very finest in the world” and thanked them for both their endorsement and their “endless courage, sacrifice, and dedication to keeping our community safe.”

She said she is “humbled and honored” by the nod from the Teamsters, which joins others from a passel of labor unions, advocacy organizations, 25 of Miami-Dade’s 34 municipal Mayors and local community leaders like Luther “Uncle Luke” Campbell.

Levine Cava, the first woman and Jewish person to serve as Miami-Dade Mayor, entered 2024 in a strong position to defend her job. She raised more than $3 million last year, of which she had $2.3 million on New Year’s Day. And she’s close to repeating a previously unprecedented feat she accomplished in 2020 by qualifying for the Mayor’s race by petition.

Five people are running against her in the technically nonpartisan contest. Three are Republican: Miami Lakes Mayor Manny Cid, GOP social media influencer Alex Otaola and actor Carlos Garín, who previously mounted unsuccessful bids for Congress and the Miami-Dade Commission.

Miguel “el Skipper” Quintero, a trapeze artist who received numerous citations for code violations at his home-based circus business, is the only other Democrat in the race.

Eddy Rojas, a cargo and transportation executive with no party affiliation, is also running.

Cid ended 2023 with $221,000 in campaign cash. Otaola had about $142,000. Quintero had less than $2,500.

Garín and Rojas filed to run at the end of January and reported no campaign finance activity yet.

All candidates for Mayor are competing against one another in the Aug. 20, 2024, Primary Election.

If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, the two top vote-earners will face off in a runoff culminating in the Nov. 5, 2024, General Election.

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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