City Commissioner Francis Suarez announced Monday night that he is pulling out of the Miami mayoral race.
The 35-year-old commissioner said his decision coincides with news that his wife, Gloria, is expecting the couple's first child. Suarez also referenced the "negative turn" his campaign took in recent months.
Those turns include two of his campaign staffers, Juan Pablo Bagnini and, the commissioner's cousin, Esteban "Steve" Suarez accepting no-contest plea deals to misdemeanor charges of submitting 20 absentee ballot requests online. Both are set to serve a year of probation.
Though the comissioner was cleared of any wrongdoing, he still defended their actions as being no different that mailing the ballots.
"We don't feel that anything wrong occurred. We don't think that receiving a 20 absentee ballot request, and transmitting them in the way that they were transmitted is any different than having them hand-delivered, mailed, emailed or scanned and faxed," Suarez said.
A second campaign aide, Christine Hamboure, was also fired after posting insensitive messages about Suarez's constituents on Twitter.
"I really didn't know the extent of all the tweets, and as I found out later on -- actually, the next day -- some of the things that were actually later in time and not really related to the campaign office, but were insensitive," he said.
Commissioner Suarez said he and his wife made the decision to end his campaign on Sunday, ahead of Tuesday's deadline for the November ballot. Exiting means that Suarez remains District 4 commissioner.
The next day, Suarez said he had a cordial meeting with Mayor Tomas Regalado about his decision, and while he will support the mayor, he promised to continue to challenge him on issues where their views differ.
"I met with the mayor earlier this morning, and I explained to him my decision, and he understood, and agreed that, you know, my family needs to come first," Suarez said.
About seven months ago, Suarez announced his mayoral candidacy from his front yard, from that same spot, he announced it's end, with lessons learned.
"I think, of course, you feel in control of the campaign, but there's always ways that you can make the campaign tighter, you can control the message a little better, you can have better filters," he said.
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