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Why Miami Mayor Francis Suarez could help GOP win youth vote

Because the mayor of Miami, Francis Suarez, 44, is the right politician for his crypto-bro, high-spending, hard-partying, tech-savvy, enterprise capital constituency.

Fueled by his reputation — he gained his first election in 2017 by 86% and his reelection in 2021 with over 78% of the vote — Suarez’s title has additionally been kicked round as one of many prime Republican contenders to look at in 2024 and 2028, with rumors he might join Nikki Haley’s presidential ticket ought to she run, and even emerge as a presidential candidate himself.

When requested what the post-Trump GOP appears like, the primary technology American-turned politician (his dad and mom each fled Cuba for Miami) speaks of a kinder, gentler Republican get together.

“The post-Trump GOP must have aspirational, inspirational management,” Suarez declares, from his HQ in Coconut Grove, Fla. “To me, it appears like somebody that leans into innovation. To me, it appears like somebody that understands our main demographic minorities, like Hispanics.”

When requested if he sees himself on this function, Suarez mentioned, “the concept of serving at a better degree sooner or later is thrilling. The truth that individuals discuss it’s thrilling.

Politics is a family affair for Mayor Suarez, here with his father, Xavier Suarez (right), who twice served as the mayor of Miami during the 1980s and '90s. The elder Suarez was also Miami-Dade County Commissioner.
Politics is a household affair for Mayor Suarez, right here together with his father, Xavier Suarez (proper), who twice served because the mayor of Miami through the Nineteen Eighties and ’90s. The elder Suarez was additionally Miami-Dade County Commissioner.

“However I don’t wish to do it for the sake of doing it,” he provides. “Too many individuals keep in politics as an arrogance challenge or as a result of they wish to be necessary. I undoubtedly really feel a need to do extra, however I’ve additionally been round politics my complete life. So, I do know political alternative is about timing and circumstance, as properly.”

Suarez is a part of the primary father-and-son workforce to be mayor of town of Miami. His father, Cuban-born Xavier Suarez, held that function from 1985 to 1993 and once more in 1997 (though he was faraway from workplace after the election was invalidated resulting from large poll fraud; Suarez was not implicated within the wrongdoing), in addition to serving as Miami-Dade County Commissioner from 2011 to 2020. 

Mayor Suarez with his wife, Gloria Fonts Suarez, and father (far left). Not only does Suarez lead Miami, he's also President of the US Conference of Mayors (as well as a practicing lawyer).
Mayor Suarez together with his spouse, Gloria Fonts Suarez, and father (far left). Not solely does Suarez lead Miami, he’s additionally President of the US Convention of Mayors (in addition to a practising lawyer).
Getty Photographs

The junior Suarez has additionally distinguished himself because the “first” in two different classes: The first American politician to get COVID and the first mayor to take his salary in cryptocurrency (New York Metropolis Mayor Eric Adams shortly adopted swimsuit). 

“I by no means thought in 1,000,000 years that I’d be well-known for getting sick,” Suarez notes of his COVID analysis on March 13, 2020, 4 days after he met with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and his workers. “It was arduous as a result of I didn’t know what to anticipate. And so, I took an opportunity and produced a video diary on daily basis that I had COVID. And since I used to be one of many first individuals in Miami-Dade County to check optimistic, it gave individuals hope that you might get COVID, and it wasn’t a dying sentence.”

Suarez is the first mayor in the nation to receive his annual salary (which is $93,000) in Bitcoin. His MiamiCoin initiative, launched in August 2021, has so far failed to gain traction.
Suarez is the primary mayor within the nation to obtain his annual wage (which is $93,000) in Bitcoin. His MiamiCoin initiative, launched in August 2021, has to date failed to realize traction.
Getty Photographs

“Sadly, many individuals did succumb to the illness, together with relations of mine. However I used to be asymptomatic fortunately, and it led individuals to consider that there was going to be a big class of those that have been asymptomatic, too.”

Suarez additionally turned COVID into a chance for Miami, when he requested, “How Can I Help?” in response to a December 4, 2020, tweet posed by Delian Asparouhov, who works on the Founders Fund with tech innovators Peter Thiel and Keith Rabois. The tweet said, “Okay guys hear me out, what if we transfer Silicon Valley to Miami?”

PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel is one of many techies who've become Miami residents and support Mayor Suarez's pro-business initiatives.
PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel is one in every of many techies who’ve develop into Miami residents and help Mayor Suarez’s pro-business initiatives.
Getty Photographs

Everybody was stunned when the Tweet went viral, together with Suarez, who has now slapped his “How Can I Assist” slogan onto socks and t-shirts. 

With the concept of Silicon Valley relocating to Miami seeded, Suarez subsequent took out a billboard in San Francisco, telling anyone who wanted to move to Miami to DM him. And plenty of have. 

Miami now boasts a thriving tech and Crypto neighborhood with residents like Thiel, Rabois, Lucy Guo and extra. In June 2021, he additionally lured the Bitcoin Convention from LA to Miami, attracting over 12,000 attendees escaping strict COVID restrictions. Simply final week, the convention returned to Miami with over 50,000 pumped-up crypto fanatics.

Like Suarez, NYC Mayor Eric Adams receives his salary in Bitcoin. Mindful of Miami's success in luring New Yorkers to Miami during the pandemic, Adams is now trying to woo Miami residents displeased with Florida's "Don't Say Gay" bill.
Like Suarez, NYC Mayor Eric Adams receives his wage in Bitcoin. Conscious of Miami’s success in luring New Yorkers to Miami through the pandemic, Adams is now attempting to woo Miami residents displeased with Florida’s “Don’t Say Homosexual” invoice.
Getty Photographs

“While you see elected officers in San Francisco saying, ‘F Elon Musk,’ he will get the message and leaves. That’s not the suitable perspective. That’s not essentially American. The American dream is the concept your tomorrows are higher than your yesterdays. As a first-generation American, I’m dismayed generally by the anti-American sentiment and divisiveness that we see on this nation, as a result of our enemies need us to be divided. We’re much less highly effective as a rustic once we’re divided.”

Though the mayoral place is nonpartisan, Suarez is a Republican, who isn’t a fan of Trump’s techniques (he mentioned he’s extra of a Reagan Republican). Suarez famously didn’t vote for President Trump in 2020. “I agreed with quite a lot of issues concerning the former president from a coverage perspective: Shifting the embassy to Jerusalem, the Abraham Accords, clearly the tax lower, having a powerful overseas coverage. From a persona perspective, that’s the place I had a tough time. If you happen to’re attempting to be abrasive or attempting to create battle, I simply don’t see that being wholesome for America.”

Mayor Suarez declared "How Can I Help?" when California tech leaders suggested relocating to Miami. The slogan caught on (as seen here on Suarez's socks) and helped Miami cultivate a thriving tech sector all its own.
Mayor Suarez declared “How Can I Assist?” when California tech leaders steered relocating to Miami. The slogan caught on (as seen right here on Suarez’s socks) and helped Miami domesticate a thriving tech sector all its personal.
ZUMAPRESS.com

He’s additionally clashed with Florida’s equally formidable governor Ron DeSantis over masks mandates. The governor’s so-called “Don’t Say Homosexual” invoice has additionally deflated a few of Miami’s efforts to proceed to draw new residents, conventions and enterprise alternatives, Suarez mentioned. 

“My perspective is that we don’t need little youngsters being taught about sexuality within the classroom,” mentioned Suarez, who’s married with two youngsters. “We would like dad and mom to try this. However we additionally wish to be a rustic that’s pro-equal rights for the LGBTQ neighborhood, which is what Miami is about. And I believe whether or not it’s equality in housing or equality in job alternative, the LGBTQ neighborhood is a neighborhood that could be a giant stakeholder on this nation and deserves to be handled with respect and kindness as we do right here in our metropolis. This goes again to conflicted management, versus persuasive management and aspirational management.” 

Suarez set up a billboard in San Francisco telling Californians interested in moving to Miami to personally send him a direct message on Twitter. Many of those who read it actually reached out.
Suarez arrange a billboard in San Francisco telling Californians considering shifting to Miami to personally ship him a direct message on Twitter. A lot of those that learn it truly reached out.
Twitter

Mayor Adams has seized on the controversy with a latest marketing campaign to draw Floridians to the Massive Apple with strategically positioned billboards and social media aimed on the disheartened LGBTQ neighborhood. 

“I’m not stunned,” Suarez says of the transfer. “The mayor and I’ve each taken benefit of aggressive alternatives to attempt to appeal to residents. And I don’t blame him for doing the identical. And I believe that’s the results generally of those cultural wars that seep into economics.”

Although both Republicans, Mayor Suarez has clashed with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis over LGBTQ rights. As Suarez sees it, DeSantis' "Don't Say Gay" bill is bad for business.
Though each Republicans, Mayor Suarez has clashed with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis over LGBTQ rights. As Suarez sees it, DeSantis’ “Don’t Say Homosexual” invoice is unhealthy for enterprise.
Getty Photographs

One other subject hounding Suarez is that town’s experiment in MiamiCoin, which Suarez has been hyping since 2021, seems to be a disaster. Created by the nonprofit startup CityCoins, the municipal digital token launched in Miami in August 2021 (CityCoins debuted NYCCoin in New York final November.) The thought is that non-public residents mine the coin, and 30% of the income are donated to every metropolis.

“The thought was good, within the sense of making this profit for cities,” Suarez explains, “however I believe among the execution was flawed. It’s a bit of too inflationary. There are 3.65 billion excellent MiamiCoins on the market, which created an excessive amount of provide, which then depresses the worth.” Presently MiamiCoin is price a couple of quarter of a cent. The digital foreign money peaked at 5 cents per coin in September earlier than flatlining initially of 2022. Though the non-public sector is shedding out, since its inception, the Metropolis of Miami has obtained $5.25 million from MiamiCoin.

Mayor Suarez and his wife, Gloria Fonts Suarez, have two children. While the mayor does not support Florida's new "Don't Say Gay" bill, he believes issues like sexuality are best taught by parents.
Mayor Suarez and his spouse, Gloria Fonts Suarez, have two youngsters. Whereas the mayor doesn’t help Florida’s new “Don’t Say Homosexual” invoice, he believes points like sexuality are finest taught by dad and mom.
Twitter @FrancisSuarez

So far as taking his wage in Bitcoin, that solely represents a 3rd of his earnings. The place is part-time, and the mayor is allowed to carry different jobs. Which Suarez does, fairly lucratively as a lawyer at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP and Senior Working Accomplice at non-public fairness agency DaGrosa Capital Companions LLC. The mayoral wage of $97,000 per yr is his lowest paycheck. 

Suarez additionally serves because the President of the US Convention of Mayors. “In that function, I’m attempting to create an agenda for America that’s based mostly on a set of actually primary ideas, like holding taxes low and investing in police. As a substitute of defunding police, up-funding police or investing in police, which retains our cities protected, which is what we’ve seen in Miami. After which leaning into innovation.”

Donald Trump answers questions while meeting with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Mayor Suarez freely admits he didn’t vote for Donald Trump in 2020. Though a fan of Trump insurance policies like shifting the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, Suarez discovered his demeanor “abrasive.”
Getty Photographs
Popular and telegenic, Mayor Suarez is already being talked about as the future face of the Republican party. Whether this means a run for vice president or even president remains to be seen.
Common and telegenic, Mayor Suarez is already being talked about as the longer term face of the Republican get together. Whether or not this implies a run for vp and even president stays to be seen.
Getty Photographs

And whereas, like a real politician, Suarez gained’t decide to working in 2024 or 2028, he has robust concepts about what these subsequent elections ought to appear to be: “Individuals are thirsting for a brand new technology of leaders, and it stays to be seen whether or not 2024 will probably be a generational election or not. Will or not it’s one other election of Child Boomers, or will or not it’s a brand new technology of leaders?

“I see a gaggle of voters that wish to be unified, that wish to be impressed, which might be a bit non-traditional of their views, however are fiscally conservative. They agree on the suitable ranges of immigration that’s wholesome for our economic system and so they need a robust overseas coverage. The subsequent candidate for president wants to grasp these generational wants.”

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