Poll: James Reyes leads Sheriff’s race, Donald Trump endorsement not enough to sway GOP Primary
Images via James Reyes, AP.

James Reyes Donald Trump
An internal survey shows Reyes, a Democrat, on track to face Republican Joe Sanchez in the General Election for Miami-Dade Sheriff.

Democratic Public Safety Chief James Reyes is the most popular of 17 candidates running for Miami-Dade Sheriff, according to polling from his campaign that shows his Donald Trump-endorsed opponent isn’t likely to win her Primary.

A survey this month by Reyes’ senior campaign adviser, Christian Ulvert, found that 38.5% of likely voters in the county plan to cast ballots for him. Another 29.5% say they’re backing Assistant Miami-Dade Police Director Rosie Cordero-Stutz, who received a Trump nod last month.

The problem for Cordero-Stutz, Ulvert found, is that she doesn’t appear to have the support to emerge victorious from the Republican Primary. Most decided GOP voters prefer Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Joe Sanchez, who scored similarly in a theoretical head-to-head matchup against Reyes in polling Ulvert conducted in March.

For his latest poll, Ulvert reported surveying 1,792 likely Miami-Dade voters May 15-20. Democrats hold a 6.5-point lead over Republicans in the county; however, he modeled the poll with +5 Democratic voter participation to reflect “turnout trends in presidential election cycles.”

That augmentation could be negated — or doubled — by the poll’s 4.8-percentage-point margin of error.

Twenty-one percent of Republican respondents say they plan to vote for Sanchez in a GOP Primary. Seven percent say they’ll support retired Miami-Dade Police Maj. Mario Knapp, while 6% are behind Cordero-Stutz and 3% prefer Miami-Dade Police Maj. Jose Aragu.

That order of preference aligns with the levels at which each candidate has been amassing campaign cash.

Image via Christian Ulvert.

Five percent of Republican respondents say they’re supporting another candidate. A whopping 58% remain undecided.

The poll did not include consideration of three Democrats running against Reyes, who led all 17 candidates from either side of the political aisle in fundraising through March 31.

Other Democrats in the race include Miami-Dade Police Maj. John Barrow, former federal agent Susan Khoury and retired Miami-Dade Lt. Rickey Mitchell.

In February, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava endorsed Reyes, whom she hand-picked last year to run the county’s Corrections Department and later promoted to Public Safety Chief. Barrow called the endorsement by Levine Cava, who also uses Ulvert as an adviser, “disrespectful to voters.”

Other Republicans running include Iggy Alvarez, Jaspen Bishop, Ruamen DelaRua, Alex Fornet, Jeffrey Giordano, Orly Lopez, Rolando Riera, John Rivera and Ernie Rodriguez. All are either current or former law enforcement professionals.

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.


  • Dont Say FLA

    May 30, 2024 at 2:12 pm

    Crooked Donaldzzz didn’t endorse Dirty Joe? What is going on around here?

    • Very Witty

      June 3, 2024 at 5:00 pm

      Trump is not Crooked. Joe is not Dirty. Joe Sanchez will be a great asset to Miami-Dade county.

  • People Need To Pay Attention

    May 31, 2024 at 6:06 pm

    Do people not realize Joe Sanchez is not even a real officer. He works for the FHP Auxiliary. He is a volunteer and mostly a spokesperson for the FHP. He did not spend 10-20+ years as an every day law enforcement officer.

    • Very Witty

      June 3, 2024 at 4:56 pm

      You must be a Knapp supporter. As this is the same rhetoric on social media. Do not be salty that your candidate is not the one destined to be chosen by the people for the people as Sheriff for Miami-Dade County … Joe Sanchez has every bit of experience as a Law Enforcement Officer. He will be an excellent Sheriff.

Comments are closed.


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