By Chuck Strouse
By Scott Fishman
By Terrence McCoy
By Ryan Yousefi
By Ciara LaVelle, Kat Bein, Carolina Del Busto, and Liz Tracy
By Pepe Billete
By Ryan Yousefi
By Kyle Swenson
"Dear executive committee members, I stand before you now not as a fellow elected member, but as a daughter. I ask you to help me save my father, Xavier Suarez, and my entire family. We have to get him a hobby, preferably one with a title and a budget, before he drives us crazy. No, I mean really, please let him run something. Thank you."
Carolina Suarez didn't actually say that on December 9, when she nominated her father for chairman of the Republican Party of Miami-Dade County. Instead she extolled his many virtues, including reaching out to the little people. "Sometimes I think my dad is too nice. He gives his cell phone to everyone and picks up oddballs," she said. The former mayor of Miami, in a dark suit and blue tie, graciously accepted the nomination and promised to return every phone call made to him "by the end of the day."
Running against Suarez was Mary Ellen Miller, the incumbent, who had been drafted into running again by those afraid of a Suarez administration. Suarez had been campaigning hard. He encouraged a number of people, including his daughter, to run for committee positions so they could vote for him. He also worked the phones trying to secure votes and, some said, made vague allusions to developing an "international plan" for the party.
As voting proceeded, Suarez paced the aisles restlessly. At the end, the score was Miller 56, Suarez 43. After a concession speech, Suarez left with a contingent of supporters, who were not there to vote for a Suarez ally running for another position. Result: She lost too.