Florida Politics: James Reyes campaign reports $550K raised for Miami-Dade Sheriff bid

Miami-Dade Public Safety Chief James Reyes has now raised more than $550,000 toward his bid to be the county’s first elected Sheriff since the 1960s, his campaign says.

That includes $150,000 raised since April 1.

Official fundraising reports from Reyes and 16 others running to be Miami-Dade’s top cop are due June 10. The qualifying deadline is June 14.

“As we close another successful fundraising quarter, I am deeply grateful for the unwavering support our community continues to show,” Reyes said in a statement.

“This level of early support reaffirms our shared commitment to safety and prosperity in Miami-Dade. With each contribution, we strengthen our ability to reach voters in every corner of the county, and to build a Sheriff’s office that prioritizes transparency, integrity, and public safety above all else.”

Reyes, a Democrat who filed to run in January, has worked in law enforcement for almost a quarter-century He spent nearly more than 22 years with the Broward Sheriff’s Office, including four years as its Executive Director. In January 2023, he joined Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava’s administration as Director of the county’s Corrections and Rehabilitation Department.

Levine Cava promoted him to Public Safety Chief — a role in which he oversees the Police, Fire Rescue and Corrections departments — in November, less than a month after Miami-Dade Police Director Freddy Ramirez dropped out of the Sheriff’s race following an unsuccessful suicide attempt.

She has since endorsed Reyes for the Sheriff job. So have many other local leaders, including embattled Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony, and advocacy organizations like AFSCME Florida.

Miami-Dade hasn’t had an elected Sheriff since 1966, when voters there eliminated the position after a grand jury report revealed rampant corruption within the Department. Instead, the county Mayor serves as the de facto Sheriff and has since had an appointed Police Director or Chief of Public Safety who reports to them.

In 2018, 58% of Miami-Dade voters joined a statewide supermajority in approving a constitutional amendment requiring all 67 counties in Florida to have an elected Sheriff, Tax Collector, Property Appraiser and Clerk of Courts by early 2025.

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