‘Respect for the law’ earns arrested Miami commissioner police union endorsement

MIAMI – The union representing Miami’s police officers has endorsed a criminal defendant in the now-open District 1 city commission race: arrested and suspended Commissioner Alex Diaz de la Portilla.

In a Spanish-language text message obtained by local blog Political Cortadito, Miami’s Fraternal Order of Police President Felix del Rosario praises Diaz de la Portilla’s “track record.”

The union president also praised the ousted commissioner, who’s facing multiple felony corruption charges, for his “respect for the law.”

“He always does what’s right!” the text reads.

Text message sent to voters. (WPLG)

Diaz de la Portilla is trying to win his seat back after Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended him following his arrest. He’s raised no money since his arrest and has had at least three contributions returned.

A number of candidates are running against him; those five others have less money and less name recognition.

Local 10 News talked to a number of District 1 voters Monday ahead of the November election, where the commissioner’s corruption allegations loom large. Diaz de la Portilla has pleaded not guilty to the charges and has denied all allegations of wrongdoing.

“Those are the kind of things that shouldn’t happen,” voter Julio Pinzon said.

“Sometimes I do feel like there’s no better person,” voter Tamara Alexander said.

“No better person then…?” Local 10 News reporter Glenna Milberg asked.

“Anyone,” Alexander replied.

Meanwhile, voter Joaquin Palma said, “it’s very complicated with the problems for the corruption.”

Diaz de la Portilla has spent $77,000 on radio and television spots, records show.

At least one voter has already cast her ballot for the suspended commissioner despite his legal troubles: District 1 resident Gloria McMillian.

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“I don’t know too much about his issues,” McMillian said. “But I know from a personal perspective, that he’s a very friendly person and he cares about his constituents.”

Del Rosario has not responded to Local 10 News’ phone calls seeking comment on the union’s endorsement.