Turns out Xavier Suarez and Joe Carollo can actually agree on something: they like Newt Gingrich. They've both been announced as members of Gingrich's Florida Steering Committee. Then again, it only makes sense that two guys who saw their political careers take embarrassing stumbles in the '90s would line up behind Newt.
Suarez and Carollo squared off in the fierce 1997 Miami mayoral election, which Suarez, at first won, until Carollo cried voter fraud and won a court challenge that eventually threw Suarez out. Carollo's final term was marked by some bizarre behavior, and he was eventually unseated by Manny Diaz in 2001. Suarez, meanwhile, has since resurfaced on the Miami-Dade County Commission.
These aren't exactly the biggest names, but it's a decent pick up for Gingrich considering the well for decent local endorsements in Miami-Dade is running dry.
Mitt Romney has already picked up perhaps the biggest prize in South Florida by garnering the endorsements of Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, and former Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart. Don't expect any candidate to welcome the support of embattled Rep. David Rivera (nor, say, recalled former county mayor Carlos Alvarez). Meanwhile, Senator Marco Rubio has already announced that he plans to remain neutral in the primary.
Perhaps current Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez (and, to a lesser extent, Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado) is the biggest Republican name left in Miami-Dade who hasn't pledged his allegiance to one candidate or another.
One thing is for sure, of the four candidates who remain in decent shape after Iowa you can be assured no one in Miami-Dade will publicly support Ron Paul. His position on lifting the Cuban embargo is political toxin here. Meanwhile, Rick Santorum's conservative stance on social issues stand a bit far outside of the mainstream in South Florida.
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