A staunch conservative county commissioner in Miami-Dade is ready to be mayor in one of the state’s largest Democratic strongholds.
Esteban Bovo stands on his Republican principals: from finances to social issues to law enforcement.
“I could not have predicted back in October when we launched our campaign that we would be living in such an evil, where police officers and the work they do is being assaulted,” said Bovo.
On the first day of early voting in Miami-Dade, Bovo enjoyed the endorsement of the South Florida Police Benevolent Association. Several officers joined him outside the Westchester Regional Library, one of the early voting sites that opened Monday morning.
“We need people like Bovo here to get elected,” said PBA President Steadman Stahl.
During a time of police scrutiny and calls for the defunding of police departments, Bovo pushes back hard.
”It’s very unpopular in our community, this is a community that wants law and order and the taxes that they pay they expect certain services and I think police falls right into that wheelhouse,” said Bovo.
He has represented District 13, which includes Hialeah and Miami Lakes, since 2011. Bovo started his political career as a Hialeah City Council Member and he also served in the Florida House of Representatives.
If Bovo becomes mayor, he promises not to raise taxes. Transportation, to include expanding rail service, would be his top priority.
“We have people stuck in traffic here. It is a great economic engine if we can move people in an efficient way,” he said.
Bovo is a staunch supporter of President Trump. The commissioner recently welcomed the President to South Florida as he stepped off Air Force One at Miami International Airport.
“His style points are his style points and they work for him and, quite honestly, since the onset of his presidency he’s been under assault,” said Bovo.
A recent knock against Bovo is that he accepted a $1000 campaign donation that reportedly had ties to a Venezuelan state run oil company. Bovo said he returned that donation.
”Anybody who knows myself personally, my family history, not only find it laughable, all these allegations, but quite honestly a little insulting to be perfectly honest,” he said.
Bovo is running against five other candidates. One must receive a majority, 50% plus one vote, to win the mayor’s seat. If nobody wins, the top two vote getters will head to a runoff in November.