Mayor Levine Cava kicks off re-election campaign party with who’s who of hosts

The list has 52 names, but the host committee is “still in formation.”

Some important donors got invitations last week to Tuesday’s kickoff for the reelection campaign of “our Miami-Dade County Mayor” Daniella Levine Cava. La Alcalesa herself asks you to join her along with Commission Chairman Oliver Gilbert and Commissioners Keon Hardemon, Danielle Cohen Higgins, Eileen Higgins, Kionne McGhee and Micky Steinberg.

You find out where the party is once you RSVP, but it is in Coral Gables (hint: the Biltmore Hotel).

Notice none of the Republican commissioners are there and three of the Dems on the welcome wagon are also clients of consultant Christian Ulvert. Where is Marleine Bastien? Did they just forget her?

The commissioners are not on the host committee, however. That long list includes folks you’d expect — former Pinecrest Mayor and state rep Cindy Lerner, former Congresswoman Donna Shalala and real estate developer Chris Korge among them. But there’s a bunch of unexpected names as well: Former Republican State Rep. Jose Felix “Pepi” Diaz and Hialeah lobbyist Felix Lasarte.

That must mean that Hialeah Mayor Esteban Bovo is happy in the City of Progress and won’t try for a rematch with DLC in 2024. Las malas lenguas say that Miami Lakes Mayor Manny Cid is mulling it over.

But this show of force is also meant to scare away any potential rivals. Commissioner Raquel Regalado did not return a text for comment, but she doesn’t scare easily. It could be meant more for Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, who was recently floated as a potential contender. Then again, so was Coral Gables Mayor Vince Lago, so you can’t put much weight to it.

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But surely there will be a Republican option, no? I mean, someone with more gravitas than El Skipper?

Once a grassroots anti-development darling when she first ran for commission what seems like 100 years ago — but was really only 2014 against then Commissioner Lynda Bell — Levine Cava sure has come around to embrace the establishment. That was a big upset, remember? Bell had all the development money. Well, there are plenty of real estate development interests and a bunch of lobbyists on the DLC host committee in formation.

This opening fundraiser will surely give her a nice big jumpstart on her campaign cheese. We won’t know until after April 10th, but the invitation certainly strongly encourages donations to both her campaign account and her political action committee, Our Democracy, which has raised almost $6.5 million since 2019 (almost a million since DLC was elected in 2020).

In fact, the invite says that to RSVP you have to select a contribution option.