Having already served as the mayor of Miami, and spent the better part of two decades in public office, Joe Carollo likely needs little introduction to voters now that he’s running for the city’s District 3 commission seat.
Still, it helps that he shares a last name with the man who currently occupies the post — his younger brother, Frank Carollo.
But as his campaign gets going, here’s what the former mayor may not have: little bro’s express support. Frank Carollo has so far declined to say whether he’ll endorse big brother’s campaign.
“I’m not going to comment,” he told the Miami Herald.
The commissioner’s silence raises the possibility of tension between the Carollos, who stood together when the younger of the two was first sworn into public office in 2009. Consider that Joe Carollo’s campaign almost certainly complicates his brother’s decision on whether to run for mayor, and that the younger Carollo was effusive when asked last month to discuss the District 3 candidacy of Zoraida Barreiro, the wife of county commissioner Bruno Barreiro.
I’ve always supported my brother since he was very little. He will always have my support and will always have my love
“We’ve had a friendship for many, many years. She’s just not going to move into the area. I’ve seen her work along with her husband for many, many years,” Frank Carollo said of Barreiro, who opened a campaign account Jan 3. “She’s a businesswoman. She’s an executive. So I think it would be a good mix especially knowing that they are family people. They have a good heart. They do know that community. They know Little Havana. They know that area very well. So it could be a very good fit.”
Joe Carollo says he discussed his potential candidacy with his brother “briefly” in July. But when pressed by the Miami Herald, Frank Carollo referred a reporter to an El Nuevo Herald article in which he told the newspaper: “I’m not going to comment on something that was not consulted in advance.”
Perhaps, some have speculated, Carollo already committed to Barreiro, a possibility neither would directly address.
Did he endorse my campaign? I don’t even know what to tell you with that
“Did he endorse my campaign? I don’t even know what to tell you with that,” said Barreiro, who shot down recent talk that she’ll withdraw from the race. “Right now I would not expect him to endorse me — even if he had said he would.”
For his part, Joe Carollo spoke carefully about his brother, but nevertheless dismissed the importance of an endorsement. Ever confident, he said he already has the two endorsements that mean the most: that of his wife and his mother.
“I’ve always supported my brother since he was very little,” he said. “He will always have my support and will always have my love. I’m not going to make any further statements than that. I’m running my campaign and I’ll concentrate on that.”