Decision 2020

Levine Cava Defeats Bovo, Becomes Miami-Dade's First Female Mayor

Miami-Dade will have a new mayor for the first time since 2011

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What to Know

  • Esteban "Steve" Bovo and Daniella Levine Cava went head-to-head in Tuesday's Miami-Dade mayoral runoff
  • Bovo and Levine Cava were the top two vote getters in the August primary
  • It marks the first time since 2011 that Miami-Dade will have a new mayor

DECISION 2020 - Live Election Updates

Voters in Miami-Dade elected a new mayor in Tuesday's election in a race that had a pair of county commissioners aiming for the position.

Daniella Levine Cava defeated Esteban "Steve" Bovo in Tuesday's runoff, after they were the top two finishers in the August primary. Levine Cava said Bovo called her Tuesday night to concede the race

Out of a field of six candidates, Bovo was the top voter getter in the primary, with 122,135 votes, good for 29.28%, slightly ahead of Levine Cava's 120,089 votes and 28.79%.

"It's a new day," Levine Cava said after arriving to vote Tuesday in Palmetto Bay. "It'll be a day in which people will actively participate in government and have a voice."

“We’re humbled, we’re humbled by the support that we’ve received, humbled by all the love that people have come up to us, not just me, my kids, my wife," Bovo said as he cast his ballot.

On paper, it was a non-partisan race, though Levine Cava had mostly aligned herself with Democrats while Bovo has aligned himself with conservatives.

Levine Cava will be the county's first female mayor. She 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.

Bovo served as a councilman for the City of Hialeah, was a state representative from 2008 to 2011, and has served as commissioner for Miami-Dade's District 13 since 2011.

Levine Cava and Bovo laid out their competing visions for the county during an NBC 6 Mayoral Debate in October.

Bovo spoke about re-focusing on basic county needs.

“We throw money at issues instead of coming up with plans and collaboration to get these things done," Bovo said. "As mayor I want to make sure we realign what the purpose of your county government was built to do. Make sure your garbage is picked up on time, that the pot hole is fixed. That’s what we do in local government. We can’t radicalize it, then we fail. We fail in all ends."

Levine Cava spoke about investing in social services.

"There’s nothing radical about providing 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. "Sure, there are some state programs and private programs but 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 is now term-limited and running for Congress as a Republican.

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