Miami-Dade County

Francis Suarez resigns as Miami city commissioner (for an hour)

Francis Suarez is sworn in Thursday as Miami’s District 4 commissioner. His appointment runs until the results of an election to replace him are certified.
Francis Suarez is sworn in Thursday as Miami’s District 4 commissioner. His appointment runs until the results of an election to replace him are certified. Miami Herald

With two years left on his term as a Miami city commissioner, Francis Suarez resigned his post Thursday.

For an hour.

Suarez tendered his resignation about 9:30 a.m. in order to comply with Florida’s resign-to-run law during his campaign to become mayor and also save the city money by avoiding a costly special election for his replacement. He could have waited until September’s qualifying period to resign, but doing so now allows the city to place the District 4 election on the Nov. 7 ballot alongside the mayor’s race and two other commission races.

Miami’s charter requires that a vacancy exist before the City Commission sets the election to name Suarez’s replacement, hence the need for him to resign temporarily.

The move required a little faith: His commission colleagues had to reappoint him, and term-limited Mayor Tomás Regalado — not exactly an ally — had to sign the measure returning him to office. “I’m signing my resignation. Here we go,” Suarez said from the dais of Thursday’s Miami Commission meeting.

After some jokes about raiding his office funds, the remaining four commissioners swiftly voted to reappoint him. Regalado followed suit by signing the measure returning him as the District 4 commissioner.

About an hour later, with his hand on a copy of La Santa Biblia still wrapped in cellophane, Suarez was sworn back into office by City Clerk Todd Hannon. He made it back onto the dais in time to vote to rename a stretch of Northwest 50th Street after Nancy S. Dawkins, the activist wife of the late City Commissioner Miller Dawkins.

Suarez’s term will last until a new commissioner is chosen by the voters in Miami’s fourth district, which covers Flagami. Tony J. Diaz, Manuel “Manolo” Reyes, Ralph Rosado and Denise Galvez Turros are currently campaigning for the job.

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