It's not official yet, but a fourth Miami-Dade commissioner is sending word he plans to run for county mayor in 2020.
Jean Monestime, a former commission chairman who took office in 2014 as the first Haitian-American member of the 13-seat board, has privately told fellow commissioners he is running. Publicly, he sounds like a candidate-in-waiting. "I'm speaking to leaders in the community right now. I'm reaching out to different advisers and counselors and elders in the community. ...as I'm trying to formulate a plan to get in there," Monestime said of the 2020 race during a Tuesday interview. "I think I should be able to do that formally within the next 30 days."
The Democrat joins three fellow commissioners on the list of 2020 contenders. Only one, Daniella Levine Cava, has actually filed candidacy papers. The other two, Esteban "Steve" Bovo and Xavier Suarez, are raising money for a potential 2020 race to succeed term-limited Carlos Gimenez, but have not filed papers or made an announcement.
Bovo and fellow commissioner Joe Martinez both said Tuesday that Monestime told them he was running for mayor in 2020. While county offices are non-partisan, Florida's Democratic Party tried to recruit Monestime to challenge Gimenez, a Republican, in 2016. Monestime considered it but ultimately passed on the race.
While in place for the mayor since the 1990s, term-limit rules in 2020 will force their first retirements for county commissioners, including Bovo and Suarez. Monestime and Levine Cava's final four-year terms do not expire until 2022.