Juan Cuba is stepping down as chairman of the Miami Democrats after two years in the post. During his tenure, Miami Democrats flipped two congressional seats and picked up a state Senate seat.
After serving as executive director of the party, Cuba took over as chairman in December 2016. While Republicans won all but one statewide races last year, Democrats have continued to make gains in Miami as Donna Shalala and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell were elected in November, carrying seats that had been held by Republicans.
Cuba announced on Tuesday that he was leaving his post.
“It's been an honor and a privilege to serve as the chair of the Miami-Dade Democratic Party. I am incredibly proud of my time as chair. In the last two years, we have won three special elections, taken back two congressional seats, and have done a tremendous amount of infrastructure building, leadership development, and issue work,” Cuba said.
Cuba insisted he was going to remain politically active.
“While I am stepping down from my role as leader of the party, I will remain involved in our local and state politics. It's simply time to prioritize my family, friends, and professional career without the burden of party leadership,” he said. “It's also time to give someone else an opportunity to lead.”
The Miami Dade Democrats trumpeted their record under Cuba.
“Under Mr. Cuba’s leadership, the Miami Dade Democratic Party doubled the number of active members, doubled the number of active Democratic clubs, and activated 10 new working committees that conduct party business,” the party noted. “In the last two years, local Democrats flipped several seats helping elect Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel Powell, Congresswoman Donna Shalala, state Senator Annette Taddeo, state Representative Javier Fernandez, state Representative Cindy Polo and county Commissioner Eileen Higgins.”
“Juan’s leadership transformed the local party into one that is mobilized 365 days a year rather than just during presidential elections,” Higgins said.
“As a past chair, I know the challenges this role entails, and Juan has successfully worked with our community to elect Democrats up and down the ballot, and has taken the local party to the next level. He will be missed,” Taddeo said.
The Miami Dade Democratic Party will choose a new chair at a meeting in Doral on Feb. 18. Until then, First Vice Chairwoman Maria Elena Lopez will serve as acting chair.