Miami Herald: Levine Cava’s new public safety chief is running for Miami-Dade sheriff as a Democrat

James Reyes, a longtime jail warden and head of public safety for Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, is running for Miami-Dade County sheriff as a Democrat.

Reyes, 46, filed for the partisan race on Monday, according to the county Elections Department website. The filing came 10 weeks after Levine Cava promoted him from director of the Corrections Department to a deputy position that also oversees police and fire rescue. Levine Cava recruited Reyes to run Miami-Dade Corrections in late 2022 from the Broward Sheriff’s Office, where he also supervised the county’s jail system.

“I am humbled to serve the community that gave me, a kid who fled the dangers of communism, a true shot at the American Dream,” Reyes, who was born in Cuba and attended high school in Hialeah, said in a press release announcing his run.

Miami-Dade’s jail system will remain under the authority of the mayor next January, when an independent Miami-Dade sheriff is slated to take office for the first time since the 1960s under a state constitutional amendment approved in 2018. Florida law requires Miami-Dade to turn over the county’s existing police department to the sheriff.

Reyes has mostly worked in the detention side of law enforcement since starting his career with Broward in 2000, according to a resume on file with Miami-Dade. For the three years before joining Miami-Dade, Reyes was director of administration, overseeing budget and finance for the Broward Sheriff’s Office.

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