top of page
  • Writer's pictureFrank Landrian

VOTE 2024-RED or BLUE, Remember to VOTE!!!!

Levine Cava said she wants to deliver an economy “where all people have the freedom to prosper and thrive. The freedom to be safe in their neighborhoods,” she said. “And the freedom to have their voices heard, because communities are at their best when our democracy is strongest.”

Since taking office in November 2020, Levine Cava has raised about $1 million for her political committee, Our Democracy, much of it from donors with financial interests tied to county government.

Leading amounts include $85,000 from the parent company of Brightline, which is negotiating a deal with the Levine Cava administration to launch a commuter train along U.S. 1, and $50,000 from Nomi Health, the medical company that collected more than $50 million last year from Miami-Dade for its COVID testing and vaccination operations.

She’s used her committee to support candidates, fund polling and pay her longtime campaign manager and political consultant, Christian Ulvert.

She’s also used more than $500 million in federal COVID aid to pump the county’s budget to record levels, with spending up 11% this year to cross $10 billion for the first time. Levine Cava resisted calls to cut property-tax rates by more than the 1% decrease she proposed and the County Commission approved last fall.

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava’s re-election effort crossed the $3.5 million fundraising mark last quarter when she turned in another strong round of gains to hold onto the county’s top elected office.

Between July 1 and Sept. 30, Levine Cava collected $468,000 between her campaign account and political committee, Our Democracy — more than double what her three challengers raised in Q3.

The haul pushed her total fundraising since winning the mayoralty in November 2020 to $3.57 million.

By the beginning of this month, she had about $2.2 million left.

Levine Cava received more than 360 personal checks in Q3. The biggest was a $75,000 contribution from her mother, Lois Levine. She also took a $20,000 check from Nicholas Swerdlow, Vice President of Coconut Grove-based development firm Swerdlow Group, which is seeking county land in the Poinciana and South Dade areas.

Many other real estate interests invested in the Mayor as well. Kendall Association I, a subsidiary of private residential developer GL Homes, gave $25,000.

Krome Grove, a limited liability company owned by real estate firm The Easton Group gave $10,000. So did Broward-based infrastructure engineering firm CES Consultants, Miami-based 13th Floor Investments, and Miami construction engineering company NV2A Group.

Associated Industries of Florida, a business group representing major Florida companies such as Florida Crystals, U.S. Sugar, for-profit hospital company HCA Healthcare, and Florida Power & Light, also gave $10,000. A Stronger Florida, a political committee chaired by Rubin Turnbull and Associates Director of Operations Celeste Camm, gave the same.

Miami-Dade Commissioners Danielle Cohen Higgins and Micky Steinberg chipped in $1,000 each through their respective political committees. Pinecrest Council member Anna Hochkammer donated $1,000 directly.

Levine Cava spent close to $250,000 in Q3. Roughly a third went to Edge Communications, a Miami firm run by consultant Christian Ulvert, whom the Mayor tapped as her senior adviser and chief strategist in March.

She paid $20,500 to the firm of her finance director, Gregory Goddard. Media consultant Michael Worley and Clair VanSusteren, Levine Cava’s Communications Director, got about $10,000 each.

As has been the case in prior reporting periods, Levine Cava contributed to her party, aligned advocacy groups and political allies. She gave $50,000 to the Florida Democratic Party and $5,000 to the national party.

She also paid $10,000 for a sponsorship of abortion rights group Ruth’s List Florida, which endorsed her in April, and gave $1,000 to the political committee of Miami-Dade Commissioner Eileen Higgins.

All candidates for Miami-Dade Mayor will compete against one another in the Aug. 20, 2024, Primary Election, regardless of party affiliation.

If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, the two top vote-earners will compete in a runoff culminating in the Nov. 5, 2024, General Election.

Elected Miami-Dade’s first female mayor after six years on the County Commission, Levine Cava ran her 2020 campaign with the help of the Democratic Party and positioned herself as the choice for Democratic voters in a county Joe Biden won by 7 points and she won by 8 points.

Miami-Dade’s reputation as reliably Democratic got thrust into doubt in November when DeSantis won the county by 11 points. He was the first GOP candidate for governor or president to win Miami-Dade since Jeb Bush, a Coral Gables resident, won the county in the 2002 race for governor.

The DeSantis win — coupled with the possibility that he’ll be on the ticket again in the 2024 presidential race — has Republicans seeing Levine Cava as vulnerable.

“If DeSantis is the nominee for president, she is on the endangered species list,” said David Custin, a GOP political consultant who managed the campaign for Levine Cava’s 2020 Republican opponent, Hialeah Mayor Esteban Bovo.

Fernand Amandi, a Democratic pollster, said Levine Cava looks strong in private polling, but DeSantis at the top of the ticket would be a threat, especially if a well-known Republican like Lt. Gov. Jeanette Núñez or former mayor Carlos Gimenez, now a Republican member of Congress, decides to challenge her.

“Her seat, for political and symbolic reasons, is one the Republicans are desperate to win,” Amandi said. “She should try and make the election a referendum on her and her record. Because she’s still very popular, according to most public opinion polls.”

If you don't Vote, you can't complain when candidates become elected officials with a very small percentage of the population voting for their candidate. Take the example of the City of Miami and the City of Miami Beach, a high-density population of registered voters and only an average of 17,000 showed up to Vote in the City of Miami and far fewer showed up to Vote for the Mayor's race for the City of Miami Beach. Your Vote matters! Too many lives were sacrificed to protect our right to Vote and live in a free society. Show up and VOTE in 2024.

6 views0 comments


bottom of page