In the age of Covid-19, the sanest voice of reason has come from our County Mayor, Carlos Gimenez. As he tries to navigate yet another crisis (recessions, hurricanes and Zika, just to name a few), he is quietly running for Congress, District 26, covering most of South Dade and the entire Florida Keys.
Mayor Gimenez is not a pure politician. His public service started on the streets of the City of Miami as a paramedic with the City’s Fire Rescue Department. He then became one of the youngest and the first Hispanic Fire Chief in the City’s history. If that wasn’t enough, he ascended to become the City Manager at a time when the City was bankrupt and people were throwing bananas at City Hall (much like today). In 2002, he left the City in its best financial condition in history.
He then joined the County Commission in 2004. As a Commissioner, Mayor Gimenez was always a fiscal hawk and was the loudest voice against the Marlins Stadium debacle. The voters rewarded him then when he became Mayor in 2011. He immediately filled a huge budget gap left by the previous administration and shepherded in the largest tax decrease in the history of Miami-Dade County.
Since then, he has won re-election two times.
While his time as Mayor has not been without controversy, he has demonstrated a strong leadership, especially in times of crisis. We often forget, but, Mayor Gimenez pulled Miami-Dade County out of the Zika crisis by doing the right thing and following the advice of health professionals to route out the dangerous virus, a path that he has continued to walk today as we grapple with Covid-19.
In this time of hyper-party-politics, Mayor Gimenez also understands the importance of consensus building. He works equally as well with Republican and Democrats in the County Commission and he has always governed from where most of us are, the middle. He would bring a modicum of common sense to the disaster that is Washington, D.C., and that is exactly what we need right now.
His opponent, Omar Blanco, a County Firefighter and former Union Boss, is just not ready for prime time. He should consider taking the same path that Mayor Gimenez did by paying his dues step by step before running for such an important office. He would be better served by running for a smaller local election of even State House.
For these reasons and more, we at Community Newspapers are proud to ENDORSE Mayor Carlos Gimenez for Congressional District 26.