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Miami Commissioner Francis Suarez announced Tuesday that he'll take on Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado in the November election. The incumbent defended his record. Xavier Suarez, who is a former mayor, said of his son's chances, "I think he's got a hell of a shot."
Miami Commissioner Francis Suarez announced Tuesday that he'll take on Tomas Regalado in the November mayoral race.
"City Hall is falling short, I can deliver a government that brings stability," Suarez said during a news conference at his Coral Gate home to announce his candidacy.
Suarez talked of the turnover in Regalado's administration and "chaos" in the city finance department, and spoke of Regalado's feud with former Police Chief Miguel Exposito.
"This administration has failed to hire police officers when they have been budgeted, I have witnessed the mayor fighting with the police chief when he could have been hiring police officers," Suarez said.
Suarez, an attorney, was born and raised in Miami and was elected commissioner of District 4 in 2009 and reelected to a four-year term in 2011.
His father, Xavier Suarez, served as Miami's mayor in the 1980s and 1990s.
The incumbent, Regalado, defended his record Tuesday.
“I understand it is a campaign and you have to say what you have to say, but bottom line for me – I reduced my salary, I reduced taxes, and we balance the budget," he said.
As far as how things are run at City Hall, Regalado stuck up for the city staffers despite the turnover, and Suarez’s criticism that they are inept.
“My only complaint is he is calling the manager and other people unprofessional and those people work hard,” the mayor said.
At Tuesday's news conference, the elder Suarez said he likes his son's chances.
"I think he's got a hell of a shot," Xavier Suarez said. "We are like the Kennedy family, we're a big family and we're gonna be out there campaigning."