Damian Pardo Enters District 2 Commissioner Race, Accused of 'Pay-to-Play'

Damian Pardo Enters District 2 Commissioner Race, Accused of 'Pay-to-Play'

District 2 Commissioner race gets shaken up

Jim McCool
Jim McCool
October 9, 2023

As if the District 2 Commissioner race could not get more interesting, activist Damian Pardo has joined in with a bang, saying he wanted to, "shake things up."

On February 27, 2023, Sabina Covo was elected to fill the vacant commissioner seat left by then-Commissioner Ken Russell, who quit to run for the U.S. Congress .  Covo made history as the second-only Latina woman elected to the commission.  This is crucial, especially in a place like South Florida, where the cultural hegemony is largely Hispanic

Commissioner Covo was elected to finish Russell’s term and now faces re-election. The district encompasses Coconut Grove, Brickell, some areas of Downtown, Edgewater, and Morningside. All the candidates faced difficulty in getting started as the final district maps were only approved by the courts in early September.

If he is elected, Pardo, 59, would be the first openly gay commissioner in the city's history. Or, as he has stated, a candidate who “is really like everybody else and just happens to be gay.” He was chosen to swear in Miami Beach Commissioner David Richardson, the first openly gay elected member to the Florida House of Representatives when he was voted into the Miami Beach city commission.

Although Pardo, who wants the voting public to think he is an outsider candidate, doesn't appear to pass the "insider" sniff test.

Pardo. has used rhetoric that supports disenfranchised groups or the common man.

He has been accused of accepting thousands of dollars from lobbyists, special interest groups, and real estate developers.  In addition to remaining totally quiet on several corruption scandals in city hall, Pardo has been dubbed, "Pay-To-Play Pardo."

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Jim McCool

Jim McCool

Jim is a graduate of Florida State University where he studied Political Science, Religion and Criminology. He has been a reporter for the Floridian since January of 2021 and will start law school in 2024.

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