‘Impressive and consistent’: South Florida PBA, GSAF Local 100 back James Reyes for Miami-Dade Sheriff

James Reyes headshot
They join 2 other unions and roughly a dozen local leaders backing Reyes' campaign.

A regional law enforcement union and a local chapter of the Government Supervisors Association of Florida (GSAF) are throwing their support behind Miami-Dade Chief of Public Safety James Reyes’ campaign for Sheriff.

The South Florida Police Benevolent Association (PBA), which works on behalf of more than 7,500 law enforcement professionals in the area, confirmed its endorsement of Reyes.

So did Miramar-based GSAF Local 100, which represents nearly 6,000 employees in Broward, Collier, Miami-Dade and St. Lucie counties.

“In his current role as Chief of Public Safety, James has demonstrated his commitment to law and order and providing our officers with the resources they need to do their jobs more safely and effectively,” South Florida PBA President Steadman Stahl said in a statement.

“As we navigate this transition from the Miami-Dade Police Department into an independent Sheriff’s Office, we have confidence in Chief Reyes at the helm because of his proven high-level command experience in a Sheriff’s Office, tireless advocacy for our officers, and above all his commitment to public safety.”

GSAF Local 100 President Fredricka Green lauded Reyes’ “distinguished career in public service,” including his efforts to improve officer pay, as key to earning her organization’s support.

“Chief James Reyes has built a track record of supporting workers that is both impressive and consistent, and we are proud to endorse him to be our Sheriff,” she said in a statement. “The work of our members lifts up Miami-Dade, and James Reyes is the candidate we trust to support them.”

A press note from Reyes’ campaign said that Reyes was part of a negotiation that resulted in the largest increase ever for staff at the Broward Sheriff’s Office, where he spent most of his career. Since early 2023, when he joined the administration of Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, who has also endorsed him, Reyes’ campaign said he joined negotiations that resulted in “the largest salary increases” for Miami-Dade Police Department officers “in more than 30 years.”

The South Florida PBA and GSAF Local 100 endorsements join nods from the South Florida AFL-CIO, AFSCME Florida and close to a dozen local leaders, including Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony.

Reyes said in a statement that he is “incredibly proud and honored” to gain their expressed backing.

“Throughout my career, I’ve made sure that workers doing crucial work day in and day out to keep our community running are given the pay and benefits they deserve — and that’s the same commitment I will make as Sheriff,” he said. “I have (also) been a tireless fighter and advocate for our officers and their families, and I promise to keep that commitment as our first elected Sheriff in more than 60 years.”

Reyes, who filed to run in January, has worked in law enforcement for almost a quarter-century He spent more than 22 years with the Broward Sheriff’s Office, including four years as its Executive Director. In January 2023, Levine Cava hired him to run the county’s Corrections and Rehabilitation Department.

Late last year, Levine Cava promoted him to Public Safety Chief — a role in which he oversees the Police, Fire Rescue and Corrections Departments. The move came less than a month after Miami-Dade Police Director Freddy Ramirez dropped out of the Sheriff’s race following a suicide attempt.

Miami-Dade hasn’t had an elected Sheriff since 1966, when county voters eliminated the position after a grand jury report revealed rampant corruption within the Department. Instead, the county Mayor serves as the de facto Sheriff and has since had an appointed Police Director or Chief of Public Safety who reports to them.

In 2018, 58% of Miami-Dade voters joined a statewide supermajority in approving a constitutional amendment requiring all 67 counties in Florida to have an elected Sheriff, Tax Collector, Property Appraiser and Clerk of Courts by early 2025.

Reyes is one of four Democrats running for Sheriff. His Primary opponents include Miami-Dade Police Maj. John Barrow, former federal agent Susan Khoury and retired Miami-Dade Police Lt. Rickey Mitchell.

Eleven Republicans are currently listed as running: Iggy Alvarez, Jose Aragu, Rosie Cordero-Stutz, Ruamen DelaRua, Alex Fornet, Jeffrey Giordano, Mario Knapp, Joe Martinez, John Rivera, Ernie Rodriguez and Joe Sanchez.

All are current or former law enforcement professionals.

The Primary 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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