Miami's Arroz con pollo politics is never dry, especially during election season. Now, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava (D-FL) has fought to get County Commissioner candidate, Sophia Lacayao (D-FL) to stop using the mayor's photo in a recent mailer that implies an endorsement of Lacayao to voters.
The flier allegedly shows the District 12 candidate, Lacayao, posing with Levine Cava and in another photo with State Senator Annette Taddeo (D-40). It has since been confirmed, however, that Cava nor Taddeo have endorsed Lacayao for her race.
Over the weekend the legal battle kicked off, with Levine Cava's lawyer, J.C. Planas writing a letter to Lacayao with an image of the mailer, claiming that the mailer was, "used in a manner that implied an endorsement from Mayor Levine-Cava." Planas added, "This is obviously not the case as the mayor does not endorse your campaign."
The letter included a cease and desist order that Lacayao stops using the image of Cava in her mailers. Senator Taddeo however, did not pursue legal action but posted on her Twitter clarification that she wants no affiliation with the Lacayao campaign.
"It has come to my attention that my picture has been used WITHOUT my authorization in a mail piece sent to voters in the MD Dist.12 Commission race to give the impression I have endorsed. NOTHING could be further from the truth," stated Taddeo.
To add insult to injury, Taddeo insisted voters vote for Mayor Juan Carlos Bermudez (D-FL), Lacayao's competition for the seat.
🚨IMPORTANT: It has come to my attention that my picture has been used WITHOUT my authorization in a mail piece sent to voters in the MD Dist.12 Commission race to give the impression I have endorsed. NOTHING could be further from the truth! Please vote for @mayorbermudez pic.twitter.com/fdcfAP7hWN
— Annette Taddeo (She/Her/Ella) (@Annette_Taddeo) July 23, 2022
It has not been confirmed where the photos of Cava and Taddeo were taken, however, the two make plenty of public appearances and are thought to maybe be photoshopped, or taken without the knowledge of how they would be used in the future.
This has also not been Lacayao's first run-in with controversy. The City of Sweetwater, Florida demanded restitution from former Commissioner, Sophia Lacayao, after she failed to respond to the first demand letter sent out on Oct. 5, 2020, which ordered she return $68,887 to the city. This took place after she pled guilty to perjury for falsely swearing she lived in the City of Sweetwater and was sentenced to one year of probation.