“Miami Nice” Politico Steps Down

Mary Ellen Miller, who’s chaired Miami-Dade’s Republican party for 15 of the last 17 years, is not seeking re-election.  She wants to catch up on the rest of her life.

Mary Ellen is unusual in many ways, in political circles.  She’s not in love with being in the limelight.  I may check in with her more often than anyone else in the local GOP, but I can count the times I’ve put her on camera on one hand.  She’s much more likely to refer me to someone else, and even supply me a contact number for them.

She is completely accessible, though– amazing in this age of universal Blackberrys– the best way to find her is to dial her home phone (if she can’t pick up right away, she returns calls quickly). Mary Ellen is generous with her time and knowledge, and doesn’t demonize political opponents while arguing her party’s position.

Her longevity of service defies the usual rules in So Fla politics– an “Anglo” re-elected chair of a party that’s overwhelmingly and increasingly hispanic, in a town where “Vota por lo Nuestro” (“Vote for our own”) is a familiar slogan.

Two candidates have jumped into the race to succeed her– State Rep. David Rivera (Miami-Dade’s Rep to the GOP State Executive Committee) and political consultant Carlos Curbelo, fresh from success running the re-election bids of the Diaz-Balart brothers.

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