Miami-Dade County’s highest-ranking Republican in office, Mayor Carlos Gimenez, said Monday he’s staying out of the presidential race and won’t publicly endorse a candidate.
“I’m supporting Carlos Gimenez for Miami-Dade mayor,” he said on the Spanish-language Univision network’s Radio Mambí, a local station.
Host Bernadette Pardo reminded Gimenez that there will also be other races on the ballot. But the mayor, who has golfed with presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, still refused to pick a side.
“I’m not going to make a statement about anything,” he said. “I’m the mayor of Miami-Dade County. I’m focused on being the mayor of Miami-Dade County.
Never miss a local story.
I’m focused on being the mayor of Miami-Dade County.
Republican Carlos Gimenez
“What we’ve shown is that I get along well with both parties,” Gimenez continued. “I’ve been invited to the White House byPresident Obama. I also know lots of Republicans, but this is a nonpartisan office, and for me, the most important thing is to have a good relationship with whoever is elected president.”
His nonpartisan post, however, didn’t keep Gimenez from endorsing Jeb Bush for president earlier this cycle — or from later backing Marco Rubio. Miami-Dade was the only county Trump lost in the March 15 Florida primary.
Gimenez did not respond to the Miami Herald’s requests for comment on the presidential race last week. South Florida has a robust contingent of Republicans declining to endorse Trump, including city of Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado. “Of course not,” Regalado responded when the Herald asked him if he was backing Trump.
Gimenez’s son, Carlos J. Gimenez, is a lawyer and former registered lobbyist for Trump National Doral, Trump’s local golf-resort property. The elder Gimenez and Trump once discussed a potential Trump takeover of the county-owned Crandon Golf Course on Key Biscayne, an idea that fizzled last year.