shirley_gibson_1.jpgMiami Gardens Mayor Shirley Gibson on Monday formally announced her candidacy for Florida’s 17th Congressional District seat.

The election will take place in 2010.

“Miami Gardens is the largest city in the district and is considered one of the principal African-American centers in the South,” Gibson said in a prepared statement. “It is with great pride that I have led this community and I look forward to faithfully representing its people along with the rest of Florida’s 17th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.”



Gibson joins a crowded field of candidates who are vying to replace U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, who is looking to fill the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez.


In March, state Sen. Frederica Wilson announced her bid for the seat. State Rep. James Bush, former State Rep. Phillip Brutus, Miami Gardens Councilman Andre
Williams and Haitian activist Marleine Bastien have announced plans to run.


So far, though, only Gibson, Wilson and state Rep. Yolly Roberson have officially declared their candidacies.


“When I was making this decision, I did not ask myself why me, but instead why not me,” Gibson said in the news release on Monday. “I look forward to this campaign, secure in the knowledge that I will be able to lead the constituents of District 17 as I have led the people of Miami Gardens. My track record in this beautiful city stands on its own. Miami Gardens has been a stunning success story of self-empowerment and a testament to what can be accomplished when government is close to its people.’’


Gibson has a diverse background in the public and non-profit sector. In 1996 she was elected to the public offices of Community Council Three and Miami-Dade’s Democratic Party Executive Committee. In addition, she was elected for two terms to Community Council Three. Gibson served as chairperson of the North Dade Municipal Advisory Committee and the Committee to Incorporate the City of Miami Gardens.


She is the President of the Miami Dade League of Cities, a retired 16-year Miami-Dade Police Officer, a previous business owner for more than 15 years, and an agile community organizer.


She is a skilled negotiator, using a collaborative approach to incorporate diversity, inclusiveness, and responsibility to secure effective outcomes. For the last six years Gibson has served as the first mayor of the third largest municipality of Miami-Dade County and the largest predominantly black city in Florida.


She was reelected, unopposed, to a second term in 2008.

Pictured above is Miami Gardens Mayor Shirley Gibson.