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Republican Mayor of Miami Francis Suarez declares run for president

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in March at National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Md.
Alex Brandon
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in March at National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Md.

Updated June 15, 2023 at 9:45 AM ET

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez is the latest Republican to throw his hat in the ring for the crowded GOP primary. In a video on Twitter, Suarez shows himself literally running through the streets of Miami as he recounts his accomplishments as mayor.

He criticized politics as usual in Washington: "America's leaders confuse being loud with actual leading. All Washington wants to do is fight with each other, instead of fighting for the people that put them in office."

Invoking the legacy of his father, Xavier Suarez, who served as the first Cuban-American mayor of Miami, he said he's not backing down from the challenges ahead.

"My dad taught me that you get to choose your battles. And I am choosing the biggest one of my life. I'm going to run for president," Suarez declared.

Suarez is the first Latino candidate to announce a presidential run and his hometown of Miami will be pivotal in 2024. He also speaks Spanish, setting him apart from most others in the field.

He filed paperwork late Wednesday with the Federal Election Commission listing himself as a Republican seeking the office of the president.

He will deliver a speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute in Simi Valley, Calif on Thursday evening.

This announcement comes as Suarez is under investigation by the FBI and the SEC for potential public corruption. Specifically, they are investigating a Miami developer to determine whether payments to Suarez constitute bribery.

Suarez enjoys a great deal of support in his hometown. He was originally elected to the office in 2017 with nearly 86% of the vote. Four years later, in 2021, he enjoyed almost as much support when he won with more than 78%.

Still, he is entering a crowded field led by frontrunner former President Donald Trump, a South Florida resident himself who also has high levels of support in the Miami area. Fellow Floridian Gov. Ron DeSantis is in the race as well. He is running second in most national polls, though he remains double digits behind Trump.

Suarez has publicly clashed with both men. He did not vote for Trump in 2020 or for DeSantis in 2018. He has said he will support whoever is the nominee in 2024 - even if it is Trump.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NPR Washington Desk

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