Manny Diaz Might Run for Governor of Florida

Former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz's name has long been thrown around when it comes to possible Democratic candidates for statewide office, but it appears he may finally be preparing to run for Governor. He hasn't said anything publicly, but Naked Politics reports that there are plenty of signs that a candidacy could be in the works.

Diaz registered as an independent before his run for the non-partisan mayor's office, but has long had ties to the Democratic party. He endorsed Hillary Clinton in the 2008 primaries, Obama in the general election, and spoke at that year's DNC. He also cut an ad for Obama last year claiming that Mitt Romney was "exploiting the suffering" of Cubans.

Apparently he's been meeting with Democratic strategists and financiers, and recently officially changed his party affiliation back to Democrat.

Of course, Diaz's reign as mayor got mixed reviews, which tends to happen to any politicians whose term coincides with a major recession. New Times didn't take too kindly to some of the claims made in his recent book, Miami Transformed. Though, he's also widely credited with pulling the city back from bankruptcy.

Diaz joins a long list of Democrats rumored to be entering the race. There's of course Charlie Crist, who comes into the race with the most name recognition (if not the most baggage). Then there's Alex Sink, the Dems nominee in 2010. Former Senate Minority Leader Nan Rich has already announced her candidacy.

Other mayors, Orange County's Buddy Dwyer and Tampa's former mayor Pam Iorio, are also included in the long list of possible candidate, but Diaz's national connections and higher profile dwarfs those of both.

Perhaps Diaz's best chance is hoping that Sink doesn't enter the race, and he can cast himself as the anti-Crist. Though, we'd also imagine if he fails to win the primary he could find himself on the eventual winner's list of running mates.

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.