Sep 13, 2023 - News

The race to become Miami Beach's next mayor

Clockwise from top left: Michael Gongora, Bill Roedy, Mike Grieco, Steven Meiner. Photos courtesy of candidates

Miami Beach will soon be under new leadership, as voters are set to pick a successor to Mayor Dan Gelber, who is term-limited after six years in office.

Why it matters: Miami Beach is the No. 1 tourism destination in Miami-Dade County and at the forefront of the battle against sea-level rise.

The big picture: The Nov. 7 race is part of a larger political overhaul coming to the city. Voters will also elect three new members of the City Commission, alongside the mayor, changing the balance of power on the seven-person body.

Who's running: Former City Commissioner Michael Gongora, former City Commissioner and ex-state Rep. Mike Grieco, current City Commissioner Steven Meiner and former MTV International CEO Bill Roedy.

The big issue: Just as in the 2021 elections, public safety has emerged as a top priority for the candidates.

  • The city has struggled for years to control the large crowds that descend on the South Beach entertainment district every March.
  • Over the last three years, city leaders have issued curfews in response to disorder or shootings during every spring break.

Also at play: Persistent fears about overdevelopment surged back to the top of the political discourse last week after the Clevelander Hotel and Bar revealed plans to build a 30-story residential development on Ocean Drive. (Each candidate is opposed to it.)

  • As the Miami Herald notes, city code would normally restrict the Clevelander to build no taller than 50 feet, but it plans to take advantage of a new state law that allows developers to build affordable housing projects as tall as the tallest building within a mile of the property.

Voting info: The last day to register to vote is Oct. 10. The last day to register for vote-by-mail is Oct. 26.

  • Early voting begins Oct. 23 and ends Nov. 5. Located at City Hall and the North Shore Branch Library.
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