Francis Suarez, the mayor of Miami, Florida, has officially entered the race for the 2024 United States presidential election, making him the latest Republican candidate to join the field. Reports from US media confirm that Suarez filed the necessary paperwork with the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday to formalize his campaign.
Suarez, a rising Republican star and the son of a prominent Cuban American politician, now joins two other major political figures from Florida who have already announced their candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination: former President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who are considered the current frontrunners.
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What sets Suarez apart is that he would be the only major Hispanic candidate in the race so far. Florida, a coveted swing state that has been leaning further to the right in recent years, has a significant Cuban American population that has long served as a strong base for Republicans.
However, Francis Suarez faces a challenging task in attempting to unseat Trump as the leader of the Republican field. On Tuesday, while Trump faced legal proceedings in a classified documents case, Suarez appeared outside the Miami court where the proceedings were taking place, only to be met with angry protesters who labeled him a “swamp monster” or a “RINO” (Republican in name only).
Francis Suarez has distanced himself from both Trump and DeSantis, positioning himself as a more centrist Republican voice. For instance, when Trump made derogatory remarks about Haiti, Suarez took to Twitter to condemn the comments and emphasized his own immigrant roots within the community. He also openly stated that he did not vote for Trump’s reelection bid in 2020, citing the need for politicians to exhibit civility, respect, and inspirational qualities.
During DeSantis initial run for governor in 2018, Suarez expressed skepticism and instead voted for his Democratic rival, Andrew Gillum. However, by 2022, when DeSantis ran for governor again and emerged successful, Suarez had shifted his support to the Republican candidate.