Miami Mayor’s Brief Foray as Presidential Candidate Cost City $20K

Reuters/Marco Bello
Reuters/Marco Bello

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez made city taxpayers foot the bill for $20,000-worth of security during his brief run for president this summer—a seemingly shady move that could violate local and state ethics regulations, the Miami New Times reported Thursday. Suarez’ campaign lasted a mere two months before he failed to qualify for the first GOP debate and he announced he’d dropped out of the race, but the New Times reports that he hired city police officers to jet across the country with him as security—including trips to Iowa, New Hampshire, and Texas. In an internal memo related to the expense, Suarez reportedly labeled it as being “Travel on city business,” and records showed that the officers’ flights, meals, and hotel rooms were paid for with city money. Florida law requires leaders to only use city money and staff for public purposes—which doesn’t include a personal campaign for president, the ethics expert Caroline Klancke told the New Times. Unless Suarez or his campaign pays the $20,000 back to the city, he may be in violation of local and state ethics regulations, Klancke said.

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