Francis Suarez Latest Florida Republican Testing the Waters for a 2024 Presidential Bid

Florida already has several Republicans mulling over running for president in 2024 and you can add Miami Mayor Francis Suarez to the list.

Appearing on “The Carlos Watson Show” this week, Suarez said the “mayor position” has “been elevated” thanks to the pandemic which could lead to a mayor becoming president. The closest a sitting mayor ever came to the presidency was in 1812 when New York Mayor DeWitt Clinton challenged President James Madison.

“People know national mayors a lot more than they did…. a generation ago,” Suarez told Watson.  “I think it becomes more possible.”

In a shot at President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump–both of whom are in their 70s–Suarez, who turns 43 next month, also insisted “the American people would want to see someone that’s a next-generation candidate, whether it’s me or someone else,” adding “that people are thirsting for that.”

The son of former Miami Mayor Xavier Suarez, Francis Suarez was first elected to the Miami Commission in 2009. He was reelected without opposition in 2011 and 2015. In 2017, he easily was elected mayor of Miami, a non-partisan office,  taking 86 percent of the vote. While he is a registered Republican, Suarez has been very critical of top GOP leaders, refusing to vote for Trump in 2020 or Ron DeSantis in the 2018 gubernatorial election. Suarez has grown increasingly active on the national stage including meeting with former Gov. Nikki Haley, R-SC, a possible 2024 presidential candidate earlier this year.

Suarez could find a crowded field of Republicans from the Sunshine State exploring running for president in 2024. Now based in Florida, Trump is mulling over another presidential bid. If the former president stays out of the race, U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., and Donald Trump, Jr. could run. DeSantis is already garnering buzz as a possible presidential candidate, especially if Trump stays out. Florida’s two U.S. senators–Republicans Marco Rubio and Rick Scott–could also run for president in 2024.

Kevin Derby wrote this analysis. He can be reached at kevin.derby@floridadaily.com

 

KEVIN DERBY
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