What to expect from 2024 politics in Miami and Florida
It's a big year for politics in Miami — and across Florida.
- Here's a rundown of some of the biggest races, bills and amendments we're watching.
Miami-Dade County: Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and five county commissioners are up for re-election in November.
- While technically holding a nonpartisan seat, Levine Cava is a Democrat in an increasingly Republican-leaning county.
- So far she has drawn challenges from two well-known Republicans: Miami Lakes Mayor Manny Cid and conservative YouTuber Alexander Otaola.
Meanwhile, Miami-Dade will get its first elected sheriff since abolishing the role in 1966.
- Fourteen candidates are running for the partisan position.
- Presumed frontrunner and former county police director Alfredo "Freddy" Ramirez dropped out in September after shooting himself following a run-in with Tampa police.
Florida Legislature: State lawmakers convene Tuesday for the annual legislative session, and many proposals are already attracting attention.
- Anti-gambling activists are concerned that House Bill 1127 would allow casino owners to relocate their permits to cities like Miami Beach, where local officials have banned casinos.
- House Bill 49 would weaken Florida's child labor laws, removing some restrictions on work hours for 16- and 17-year-olds, Axios Tampa Bay's Yacob Reyes reports.
- House Bill 599 would ban state and local governments from requiring employees to refer to other people by preferred pronouns that differ from their sex at birth. It would also ban state-funded nonprofits or agencies from requiring workplace training in gender identity.
State amendments: Florida voters may get to decide on a state amendment codifying abortion rights in November. That's if the Florida Supreme Court allows the ballot question to move forward, following a challenge from Republican Attorney General Ashley Moody.
- Moody is also challenging a proposed amendment to legalize recreational marijuana use for those 21 years and older. That, too, is before the high court.
Presidential race: Florida's presidential primary is March 19, two weeks after Super Tuesday.
- As of now, President Joe Biden is the only Democrat on the ballot, but a pending lawsuit seeks to add long-shot candidates like Minnesota U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips.
- Gov. Ron DeSantis remains in the running against frontrunner former President Donald Trump, who has won Florida twice in a row.
Be smart: The deadline to register to vote in the presidential primary or change party affiliation is Feb. 20.
- Voters must be registered with a party to vote in the closed primary.
- The general election in November is open to all voters.
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