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Published on April 24, 2024
Former Surfside Mayor Shlomo Danzinger Joins Packed Race for Miami-Dade County MayorSource: X/Shlomo Danzinger

Shlomo Danzinger, Surfside's ousted mayor, is now aiming to take control of Miami-Dade County, jumping into the race to oust incumbent Democrat Daniella Levine Cava. According to CBS News Miami, Danzinger has thrown his hat into a ring that is already crowded with Republicans, including Manny Cid and conservative Spanish-language YouTube host Alexander Otaola. The mayoral election, set for August, will pit all candidates against each other in a nonpartisan showdown. Should no candidate garner more than 50 percent of the vote, a runoff is slated to decide the final outcome in November.

As a fresh contender, Danzinger seeks to quickly re-establish his political grounding after a defeat in Surfside's local politics. Florida Politics highlighted that he is the fourth Republican and overall the seventh candidate to step into the race, which has also drawn participation from actor Carlos Garín and Miguel "el Skipper" Quintero. Quintero stands as Levine Cava's only Democratic challenger, with Eddy Rojas running as an independent.

Last month's election results were a setback for Danzinger, as more than 52% of Surfside voters chose to bring back former Mayor Charles Burkett. This recent political history will likely to serve as a specter in his current bid for county mayor. According to a statement from Levine Cava's re-election campaign obtained by the CBS News Miami, "The voters of Surfside spoke clearly earlier this year and there is no doubt Miami-Dade voters will join them in sending the same message regarding our new opponent."

During his stint as mayor, Danzinger had controversially questioned a commissioner's English skills and drew censure attempts, complicating his leadership. He also made headlines for his stances on community issues, opposing the hosting of a gay pride event and Pride flag raising, as well as supporting a crackdown on homelessness through panhandling bans and restrictions on public shower use. These moves may to play a significant role in shaping voter opinions as he steps up to a much larger stage. On the other side, Levine Cava's campaign has had to address questions about a free trip to Qatar taken by her Chief Campaign Strategist in 2022, funded by the Qatar monarchy's U.S. embassy.

With seven candidates in the mix, the election dynamics promise intense lead-up to the August 23 Primary Election. The top two vote-getters will likely face off in a decisive November 5 General Election, if the primary does not produce an outright winner.