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Miami Mayor Francis Suarez attends the USCM 91st Winter Meeting in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 20, 2023.
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez attends the USCM 91st Winter Meeting in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 20.Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images file

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez teases long-shot GOP presidential campaign

With Miami in the spotlight ahead of former President Donald Trump’s arraignment, the city's mayor is considering a run against him for the GOP nomination.


There may be almost a dozen candidates in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, but this week could bring one more.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez told “Fox News Sunday” this week to “stay tuned,” for more news about a “big announcement,” which is widely expected to be a presidential bid.

Suarez and his city are in the spotlight this week as former President Donald Trump, the GOP frontrunner, heads to Miami to be arraigned in a federal case regarding classified documents he kept at Mar-A-Lago after his presidency.

Asked about the indictment forcing Trump to appear in court in Miami this week, Suarez told Fox News, "Definitely he should be presumed innocent. And I think the part of this is did it have to get to this point? This is unprecedented… This just feels un-American, it feels wrong at some level." 

The Miami mayor is also heading to California Thursday to speak at the Reagan Presidential Foundation as part of their "A Time for Choosing" speaker series.

Four candidates who've already announced their campaigns -- former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley -- also spoke at the library in the past year.

Suarez is a long shot to crack the top echelons of the GOP primary anytime soon, especially with his home-state governor in the race.

But presidential campaigns are unpredictable, and contenders can generate positive publicity for themselves even in losing efforts. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg parlayed his own underdog 2020 presidential campaign as mayor of South Bend, Ind., into a prominent role in the Biden administration — and talk of a future bid for the White House.

Suarez hasn’t openly criticized DeSantis or his positions, but he has called out some of DeSantis’ reactions to the migrant crisis at the southern border as “headline grabbing.”

Suarez told “Face the Nation,” “I think some of them are headline grabbers, without a doubt ... [but] I think some of them are substantive. For example, he’s sending 1,000 law enforcement officers to the border, at the request of the governor of Texas.”

“I think some of that could have a positive impact ... and you have to be careful with that as well. Because, you know, we are on the eve of hurricane season, so you have to make sure that the resources that are being used are resources that we can deploy here in the state of Florida if we need them as well,” he added.

Suarez has been a popular mayor, who was re-elected in 2021 with 79% of the vote. Recently, however, he's come under scrutiny thanks to recent reporting from the Miami Herald.

The Herald reported that Suarez was paid as a consultant for a company that also received waivers from the city regarding zoning issues in a Coconut Grove development project. Suarez is now under investigation by the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust, and the company that paid him is under investigation by the FBI and the SEC.

Suarez has denied the corruption allegations and told "Fox News Sunday," "It's no surprise that after 13 years of an unblemished record, a few weeks before I make a big announcement, all of a sudden, they're throwing a bunch of things at the wall to see what sticks."

"It's an unfortunate part of the business, it's why good people decide oftentimes not to serve," he added.