‘South Florida deserves better’: Former Key Biscayne Mayor announces bid to unseat María Elvira Salazar

Mike Davey
'I’ve always been about solutions, not politics, and we need serious people with the right priorities.'

Former Key Biscayne Mayor Mike Davey is running to supplant María Elvira Salazar in Florida’s 27th Congressional District, where Democrats still hold hopes of revival after a pair of disappointing elections.

Davey considers Salazar “the center of the problem” when it comes to “chaos and dysfunction” in Washington. He hopes to bring the leadership style he applied over his 12 years as an elected official in Key Biscayne, where he served maximum stints on the City Council and in the Mayor’s office.

“I’m running for Congress to put people ahead of politics and ensure everyone, including my 14-year-old-daughter, has the opportunity to get ahead without fear of their rights and freedoms being taken away,” he said in a statement.

“As a Mayor, I’ve always been about solutions, not politics, and we need serious people with the right priorities to lower costs for families, protect our rights and freedoms, and improve people’s lives.”

A Republican-turned-Democrat, Davey is a self-described moderate who in recent years grew increasingly estranged from the GOP. He supported Barack Obama in 2008 and switched parties after the election of Donald Trump when, according to his campaign website, his daughter asked him “why Trump hates her because she’s not White.”

He’ll face at least one opponent in the Democratic Primary: Miami-Dade School Board member Lucia Báez-Geller, who holds an early lead in funding and endorsements. But a pair of noteworthy Democrats are already voicing support for Davey.

Former state Rep. Nick Duran, whose district included Key Biscayne, recalled working closely with Davey on state funding and policy and being struck by Davey’s “roll-up-your-sleeves and work-together-to-find-solutions” approach to problem-solving.

“He proved to be a fierce and engaging advocate for the needs of his citizens,” Duran said in a statement. “He is exactly the kind of person we need representing our community in D.C.”

Cecilia Tavera Webman, a Democratic activist and community organizer from Miami’s Coconut Grove neighborhood, praised Davey’s focus and responsiveness.

“Mike Davey exemplifies effective and compassionate leadership, always prioritizing the health, safety and well-being of our community,” she said in a statement. “His integrity, accessibility and sound decision-making skills assure me that Mike is the leader we need in Congress to meet this moment.”

The son of first-generation American parents, Davey grew up in a working-class family and today works as an employment lawyer. A press note from his campaign said he met his wife, Maria, after she fled Peru during the height of the Shining Path’s terrorist attacks. He later became a stepfather to her son before the couple had a daughter together.

Davey blasted Salazar, who has labeled her past political opponents as socialists, for cozying up to the very people and ideologies she decries while voting against federal packages she later took credit for when her constituents benefitted from them.

Since winning office in 2020, Salazar has not passed a single piece of legislation. Just two of her bills — one denouncing the horrors of socialism and another calling for stricter PPP loan-tracking — have cleared the House floor.

“We can’t trust Salazar. She is so focused on causing chaos and dysfunction that does nothing for South Florida that she claims credit for funding she voted against and cannot even remember what she voted for or against,” Davey said. “South Florida deserves better.”

CD 27 covers Miami, Coral Gables, Cutler Bay, Key Biscayne, Pinecrest, North Bay Village, South Miami, West Miami and several unincorporated.

Shortly after Davey announced his candidacy, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) released a statement suggesting his contest with Báez-Geller will result in a leftward lurch on the Democratic side of the ticket.

“No matter which extreme Democrat nominee wins their race-to-the-left primary, they will be left bruised, broke, and baggage-laden,” NRCC spokesperson Delanie Bomar said. “Meanwhile, María Salazar is delivering proven, bipartisan results for voters in South Florida, and they will re-elect her in November.”

The Primary Election is on Aug. 20, followed by the General Election on Nov. 5.

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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