In a significant turn of events, James Reyes, Miami-Dade’s Chief of Public Safety, has announced his bid for Sheriff. This move marks an important milestone, as it could lead to the county’s first elected Sheriff in more than half a century. This ambitious initiative has not only sparked interest in the community but has also received substantial financial backing, marking a promising start to Reyes’ campaign.
The Impressive Kickoff
The campaign has reported an impressive start, having raised over $200,000 within the first fortnight. This financial support is a strong indicator of the potential for Reyes to catch up and possibly surpass the current fundraising front-runners in this race. Reyes expressed his gratitude for the support, stating, “I’m humbled at my early outpouring of support for my campaign to serve and protect Miami-Dade as our community’s next Sheriff.”
Reyes’ Promising Background
James Reyes is not a new face in law enforcement; he has had a remarkable 25-year career and currently oversees Miami-Dade’s Police, Corrections, and Fire Rescue Departments. His prior experience includes a leadership role at the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, where he served as Executive Director for four years. This extensive background in law enforcement positions him as a strong candidate for the role of Sheriff.
The Endorsement and Competition
Reyes’ candidacy has been further bolstered by an endorsement from his former boss, Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony. Tony described Reyes as a “battle-tested and accomplished leader” and “the best candidate for Miami-Dade Sheriff.” However, the race to the Sheriff’s office is not without competition. Reyes is one of four Democrats vying for the position, with thirteen Republicans also in the running. Among the most recent entrants is Jeffrey Giordano, a former Miami Dade College Police Chief and Miami police officer.
The significance of an elected Sheriff in Miami-Dade can’t be understated. The county hasn’t had an elected Sheriff since 1966, following allegations of rampant corruption within the department. However, a constitutional amendment approved by a statewide supermajority in 2018 has mandated that all 67 counties in Florida must have elected officials for Sheriff, Tax Collector, Property Appraiser, and Clerk of Courts by early 2025. This constitutional obligation has further intensified the race to the Sheriff’s office.
As the 2024 Primary Election draws closer (scheduled for Aug. 20), followed by the General Election on Nov. 5, all eyes are on the promising and intense race for Sheriff. Reyes’ candidacy and his impressive start have added an intriguing dimension to the contest. Whether his promising start translates into eventual success is something only time will tell.