Miami Mayor Francis Suarez fled Hurricane Ian for NYC fundraisers

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Miami Mayor Francis Suarez fled Hurricane Ian for NYC fundraisers

Nothing gets between this rising-star politician and a big-bucks fundraiser — not even a deadly hurricane.

While the rest of Florida was bracing to be ravaged by Hurricane Ian and his own city was on tornado and flood watch, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez was 1,200 miles away — attending a pair of New York City political fundraisers in his honor, The Post has learned.

Suarez, 44, made an appearance at an hour-long lunch held at the exclusive Casa Cipriani, a private members club and hotel in Lower Manhattan, according to a source who attended the event.

The Republican also lapped up a second fundraiser at Le Bilboquet, the posh Upper East Side French restaurant, the source added.

The Big Apple fundraisers, which were held for Suarez’s Agenda for America PAC, took place around the same time the mayor fired off a tweet warning his own residents to “stay informed & stay safe” as the Category 4 hurricane barreled towards the Sunshine State.

Suarez gave no indication on social media that he was far away from it all, in the Big Apple.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez made an appearance at two Manhattan fundraiser while his state was bracing for Hurricane Ian.
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez made an appearance at two Manhattan fundraisers while his city was bracing for Hurricane Ian.
@francissuarez/Instagram
Miami was under a flood and tornado watch while Suarez was in New York City.
Miami was under a flood and tornado watch while Suarez was in New York City.
AP Photo/Marta Lavandier

It wasn’t immediately clear when Suarez touched down in New York but a source said he stayed at the five-star Lowes Regency hotel near Central Park.

A source said Suarez was still in the city Thursday morning, but his political rep wouldn’t confirm the mayor’s whereabouts when reached by The Post. Suarez’s office also didn’t immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.

His Casa Cipriani fundraiser had called for suggested donations of between $2,500 to $10,000, according to a flyer for the event obtained by The Post.

About 40 people attended that fundraiser, including “real estate guys, developers — a lot of different people who went to support him,” a source said.

The fundraisers were for Suarez’s Agenda for America PAC.
The fundraisers were for Suarez’s Agenda for America PAC.

The event was hosted by Casa owners Michael and Joe Cayre, as well as Anthony Carone — the brother of Frank Carone, who is Mayor Eric Adams’ chief of staff who is departing at the end of the year.

There was no sighting of Adams, or any other elected officials, at the events, sources said.

Even as Suarez was rubbing shoulders with political donors, he was still firing off tweets about how he and city officials were monitoring the effects of the hurricane, which eventually made landfall near Fort Myers, 150 miles north-west of Miami, on Wednesday afternoon.

While Miami wasn’t forecast to be directly hit by the eye of the storm, Suarez warned at a Tuesday briefing and in subsequent tweets that his city was still bracing for severe weather.

“In the last 24 hours, the @CityofMiami received 2.8 inches of rain & is expected to get up to 6 inches throughout today & tomorrow. We should expect considerable rainfall. Right now we are under a tornado watch & flood warning until tomorrow,” Suarez tweeted Wednesday.

“Please stay informed & stay safe,” he added.

Suarez’s Instagram feed was also filled with several images of fallen trees and areas of Miami that had already flooded, as well as footage of hurricane briefings.

Several Instagram stories posted Thursday details how Miami search and rescue crews had been dispatched to help provide aide in the hard-hit Marco Island in the Gulf of Mexico.

A local task force meeting images shared on Suarez's Instagram story while he was away.
A local task force meeting images shared on Suarez’s Instagram story while he was away.
@francissuarez/Instagram
Suarez warned his city about the weather conditions on social media.
Suarez warned his city about the weather conditions on social media.
@francissuarez/Instagram
A flooding updated from the mayor's Instagram page.
A flooding update from the mayor’s Instagram page.
@francissuarez/Instagram

The mayor’s name has been kicked around of late as one of the top Republican contenders to watch for in the 2024 and 2028 presidential races.

His political advisors created his Agenda for America PAC back in January and started running digital Facebook ads in early primary election states, including Iowa and New Hampshire, with GOP messaging targeting “Bidenflation”, crime and immigration.

Suarez, who has publicly criticized both former president Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, has been Miami’s mayor since 2017.

Additional reporting by Selim Algar

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