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Mayors have never won the presidency; Suarez hopes that changes

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez joined Scripps News' "Morning Rush" as one of the candidates in a crowded Republican presidential primary.
Posted at 10:39 AM, Jun 28, 2023

There has never been a candidate who has gone directly from being a mayor to the presidency. It has also been rare for former mayors to become president later. 

But Miami Mayor Francis Suarez believes his experience is enough to become president. 

In an interview with Scripps News' "Morning Rush" on Wednesday, Suarez noted that he won his first mayoral election with 85% of the vote, and was reelected with over 78%. 

"I think I'm the only candidate that has a record of unifying and being unifying and inspiring," he said. "And I think that's what Americans are hoping for. That's what they're seeking. I think the kryptonite of democracy right now is division. We are having a toxic conversation in this country."

Suarez's candidacy is certainly a long shot. He is running in a crowded Republican primary against the likes of former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. And polls reflect little traction for his campaign so far. 

"I'm the only candidate in the field that has created an ecosystem to take advantage of the generational opportunities for ourselves," he said. 

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Suarez noted that Miami was the only area among the United States' 15 largest metro areas to have over 6% in total compensation growth.

"So we've, our record of, of keeping taxes low, keeping people safe and leaning into innovation has created, you know, prosperity," he said.  We're No. 1 in wage growth. We have the lowest unemployment in America and we're No. 1 in tech job growth, which are the jobs of the future and that's how we create prosperity for a country. I'm running because I don't think there's anybody that's better capable to turn our country around in this particular."

It's unclear whether Suarez will have enough support to join Republican candidates for the first debate in Milwaukee on Aug. 23.