‘Our members trust J.C.’: SEIU Local 1991 endorses J.C. Planas for Supervisor of Elections
Image via Juan-Carlos Planas.

Juan-Carlos Planas
‘He has a demonstrated and unwavering passion for democracy.’

One week after its parent organization lauded him as the “best choice” for county voters, a local union announced that it too is backing Juan Carlos “J.C.” Planas for Miami-Dade Supervisor of Elections.

SEIU Local 1991, a collective bargaining group representing more than 6,200 local health care workers, confirmed it is supporting Planas, an ethics and elections lawyer, for the county’s chief elections position.

“There’s arguably no issue more important than the protection of our democracy, and as a standout elections attorney, J.C. has the knowledge and experience required to ensure free and fair elections,” SEIU Local 1991 President Vicki Gonzalez said in a statement.

“He has a demonstrated and unwavering passion for democracy, and our members trust J.C. to safeguard our most important institution.”

The SEIU Local 1991 nod comes eight days after SEIU Florida, which represents some 80,000 workers statewide, endorsed Planas.

A former state lawmaker from 2002 to 2010, Planas’ fight against election denialism and fraud stretches back decades, including a battle in 2002 after his opponent sued to overturn his election results. As an election lawyer, Planas’ campaign said he represents numerous candidates and officials in Miami-Dade today while also working as a law professor at St. Thomas University.

Planas said in a statement that he is “very proud” to receive a nod from SEIU Local 1991, whose members “keep our community safe and healthy.”

“This race for Supervisor of Elections is about one thing: keeping our democracy safe,” he said.

“Respect for democratic norms and the integrity of our elections are under threat like we haven’t seen in a long time, and it’s going to take experienced and dedicated public servants to safeguard our democracy now and in the future.”

Born in Miami, Planas worked as an Assistant State Attorney before running for state office. He has served as a board member of the Miami-Dade Children’s Trust, Kiwanis Club of Little Havana and the National Fragile X Foundation. Today, he works as a professor of election law and government at the St. Thomas University School of Law, his alma mater.

Planas changed his registration from Republican to Democrat in response to Donald Trump’s attacks on voter rights and lies that the 2020 election was stolen.

He’s set to face at least two opponents in the Primary: Willis Howard, a campaign consultant and former Chief of Staff in North Miami; and Arnie Weiss, a digital media entrepreneur who sued the county in 2004 to require a paper record of ballots and improve accommodations for older voters.

The winner will face Miami Rep. Alina García, the lone Republican to qualify for the contest.

This election is the first time Miami-Dade voters will choose an SOE and Tax Collector, both of which have been appointed by Mayor-appointed offices under the county’s 1957 charter. In 2018, Florida votes — including 58% of Miami-Dade voters — approved a constitutional amendment requiring every county in the state to elect those offices, a Sheriff and Property Appraiser by Jan. 7, 2025.

An internal poll released in May by Planas’ Campaign Manager, Christian Ulvert, found Planas would hold an advantage over García in the General Election, with 43% of respondents siding with Planas compared to 36% for García.

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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