Miami-Dade native, Yale Grad, former professional tennis player and comedian Steve Berke officially qualified as a candidate for Mayor of Miami Beach to oppose two-term incumbent Matti Herrera Bower.
Berke is a comedian but insists his campaign is no joke. “People ask me all the time — a comedian? For mayor? I say, why not? The people we have in there now are the real clowns.” said Berke.
“We have a mayor who lied in order to collect an extra $15,000 of pension money that she wasn’t entitled to, and the money came from Miami Beach taxpayers. If that isn’t a crime, I don’t know what is. Our residents deserve better.”
Berke said he would run a “positive campaign of ideas,” pointing out that he has already proposed a world class casino/hotel and convention center at the current site of the Miami Beach Convention Center with revenues used to cut property taxes. Berke has also proposed a plan to end the city’s controversial “Urban Beach Weekend” by replacing it with a Veteran’s themed weekend, aimed at honoring America’s war heroes.
Berke has a fitting campaign slogan for his quixotic quest in a place known for raucous celebration: “We’re not the Republican Party, we’re not the Democratic Party, we are the After Party!
His platform? Lower taxes, decriminalize marijuana, keep nightclubs open until 5am, and legalize gay marriage. He is also “pro-gambling, pro-tourism, pro-hospitality, and of course… pro-fun!”
Here is one of his funny campaign videos, centering on one of his favorite causes:
Berke paid the $1360 filing fee and will appear on the ballot this November.