Shlomo Danzinger, Surfside’s recently supplanted Mayor, seeks Miami-Dade’s top elected job

Shlomo Danzinger FB
The race for Miami-Dade Mayor is now a 7-person contest.

Just over a month after Surfside voters ousted him from the town’s most prominent elected office, businessman Shlomo Danzinger is running to unseat Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.

He’s the fourth Republican and seventh person to enter the technically nonpartisan race for the county’s top government post. Levine Cava, a Democrat whom Danzinger endorsed for re-election in September, is the first woman to hold the job.

She’s also the first Jewish person to serve as Miami-Dade Mayor. Danzinger made history in March 2022 by becoming Surfside’s first Orthodox Jewish Mayor.

The Miami Herald first reported Danzinger’s candidacy just before 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Florida Politics contacted Danzinger for comment but received none by press time.

In a statement to the Herald, Levine Cava’s re-election campaign noted that more than 52% of Surfside voters cast ballots against Danzinger last month to bring back Mayor Charles Burkett, whom he supplanted two years prior by just 35 votes.

Danzinger lost the rematch by a 102-vote margin. Surfside has roughly 5,500 residents, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

“The voters of Surfside spoke clearly earlier this year and there is no doubt Miami-Dade voters will join them in sending the same message regarding our new opponent,” Levine Cava’s campaign said.

Danzinger, the CEO of a Miami-based nonlethal weapons company called First Tier Defense, cited residents’ exasperation with bickering at Surfside Town Hall as contributing to his win. But it was Danzinger this past August who drew headlines and criticism for nastiness during government meetings when he questioned whether Commissioner Nelly Velasquez spoke English after she repeatedly interrupted him at a meeting. He narrowly evaded a censure by his Town Commission peers.

During his two-year stint in office, Danzinger also opposed hosting a gay pride event in the town, flying a Pride flag over a local community center and voiced support for an ordinance change aimed at cracking down on homelessness by banning panhandling, sleeping in public places and using soap in public showers.

Questions during the town’s election cycle this year were also raised about Danzinger’s relationship with a Dubai-based development company that purchased the site of the former Champlain Towers South condo.

Levine Cava has also faced questions about a free trip she took to Qatar in 2022, paid for by the Qatar monarchy’s U.S. embassy, that her Chief Campaign Strategist took at the same time.

Other GOP candidates for Miami-Dade Mayor include Miami Lakes Mayor Manny Cid, social media influencer Alex Otaola and actor Carlos Garín, who has also run unsuccessfully for Congress and the Miami-Dade Commission.

Miguel “el Skipper” Quintero, a trapeze artist suing the county over code violation fines at his home-based business, is Levine Cava’s lone Democratic opponent.

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

Democratic business consultant Monique Barley-Mayo, who ran in 2022 for the Miami-Dade Commission, filed for the race in September but withdrew less than a month later.

All seven current candidates will be on the Aug. 23 Primary Election ballot. If no one secures more than 50% of the vote, the two with the largest vote shares will square off in the Nov. 5 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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  • Dont Say FLA

    April 24, 2024 at 7:36 am

    What happened to Francis? Did he resign to run? Unlike Rhonda?

  • Ron Forrest Ron

    April 24, 2024 at 8:19 am

    Schlomo is a Republican, but he endorsed a Democrat? Yes it’s a non-partisan office, but that means only that the ballot lacks the D or the R for each candidate.

    Is Scholmo’s endorsement of a Democrat was because the Republican(s) in that race were MAGAs, then good for Schlomo! It’s great news there’s still at least one sane Republican in Florida who is a Republican and not one of those RINO MAGAs that hate America.

Comments are closed.


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