Many pollsters and pundits believe the 2024 Republican primary will be a two-person race between Floridians: former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. However, a third Floridian is expected to announce his candidacy this summer, and that is Miami Mayor Francis Suarez.
Suarez, 45, was first elected mayor in 2017. He is the son of former Miami Mayor Xavier Suarez and is the first mayor of Miami to be born in Miami. His family is native to Cuba, having fled to America to escape Fidel Castro's tyranny.
Despite the mayor's office being a nonpartisan position, Suarez proves that Republicans can run urban cities effectively.
His tenure as mayor has seen property taxes cut by 1.2 percent to the lowest level since 1964 and takes into account a population increase of around 65 percent. According to federal data, Miami had an annual growth rate of 3.5 percent from July 2021 to July 2022, making it the fourth-fastest-growing city in America. In addition, the corporate income tax is 5 percent, and the Miami economy thrives with no income tax.
Miami is now the top entrepreneurial center, No. 1 in tech job relocation and wage growth. The homicide rate is at its lowest level since 1957, and the homelessness rate is the lowest since 2013. In a recent interview with Suarez, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said the American dream is all about Miami.
It is important to note that Miami ranks as the No. 1 city in diversity, and Miami-Dade County is over two-thirds Hispanic. While Democrats have historically done well with Latino voters, that trend is not working for them in Florida.
Former President Donald Trump won the state by 110,000 votes in 2016 and increased his margin of victory by nearly 300,000 in 2020. Hillary Clinton won 63 percent of the vote in Miami in 2016, but President Joe Biden only garnered 53 percent in 2020. Suarez was re-elected in a landslide with 79 percent of the vote in 2021.
Despite rumors that a less white America makes it easier for Democrats, polls show that Hispanic and Latino voters are trending more conservative, especially in South Florida.
In a recent Op-Ed in The Wall Street Journal, Suarez described people moving to his city as a response to the socialist-style policies of California and New York. "On one side, we have the socialist model: high taxes, high regulation, less competition and declining public services with government imposing itself as the solver and arbiter of all social problems. On the other side, we have the Miami model: low taxes, low regulation and a commitment to public safety and private enterprise."
Suarez has taken his conservative message across the country and spoke at CPAC and the early primary states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. He is not shy about his presidential ambitions, referring to it as "the big job." He sees himself as a generational leader who can lead the Republican Party back to winning again.
Despite not appearing in most presidential polls, Suarez believes "inspiring people" could help him come out on top. While Trump and DeSantis are criticized for being negative or uninspiring, Suarez takes a Reagan-esque approach to connecting with individual voters.
"I think it's important to connect with the people, listen to the people, to give them an opportunity to understand what you're about, why you've succeeded, and why someone who's a mayor and someone my age could be qualified to run a country as complex and as large as the United States of America," Suarez told Fox News.
No one has ever been elected president from a mayor's office. However, it is essential to note that Suarez will have had more executive experience before taking office than Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Barack Obama before him.
Considering voters of both parties prefer not to see a Trump vs. Biden rematch, a Suarez candidacy could breathe new life into the Republican Party and give Americans a chance to vote for someone noble.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.