Miami-Dade County got a new mayor Tuesday, and for the first time in history a female took control of what some call the "second most powerful political position" in the state of Florida.
Daniella Levine Cava was sworn in during a ceremony, two weeks after her win over Esteban "Steve" Bovo on Election Day.
The mayor-elect has spent the time between her election and inauguration by meeting with mayors in the county and participated in food distributions in several cities.
“I think people saw my heart, they knew that I’m here to really serve and listen," Levine Cava said during a November 4th event. "What I’ve done for a lifetime, I’ve built coalitions. It will be no different, it will just be at a level that will make sure that we can get the results that we need countywide.”
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, during a news conference last week, said he had spoken with Levine Cava about various measures regarding the coronavirus pandemic in the county, including the possibility of reinstating citations for mask violations.
Levine Cava defeated Bovo after they were the top two finishers in the August primary. On paper, it was a non-partisan race, though Levine Cava had mostly aligned herself with Democrats and becomes the first member of the party to hold the office since Alex Penelas from 1996 to 2004.
Levine Cava won her first commissioner race for District 8 in 2014 and was re-elected in 2018, but resigned her county commission seat to run for mayor.
The new mayor laid out her vision for the county during an NBC 6 Mayoral Debate in October, speaking about investing in social services.
"There’s nothing radical about the county caring about its citizens and spending its money. Look, who else is going to take care of our seniors?" said Levine Cava. "In the end, we are responsible for the well being of all our residents. That is exactly what I’ve done and there’s nothing radical about it."
Levine Cava will replace Carlos Gimenez, who has served as Miami-Dade's mayor since 2011 but was term-limited and later won his race for Congress as a Republican.
Last week, Levine Cava announced Johanna Cervone as her first Chief of Staff, appointing Cervone noting her years of experience in campaigns at both the local and national level.
Cervone is the daughter of immigrants who was born in Argentina, later moving to Miami-Dade before getting both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from FSU. She has spent time working on various campaigns and for nonprofit groups while also having previously worked for Levine Cava’s County Commission office.