Two young Cuban-American Republicans from Miami are leading contenders to be South Florida’s top federal prosecutor in what, sources tell POLITICO, is one of the most important federal jurisdictions to Donald Trump because it covers his home away from the White House, Mar-a-Lago.Roy Altman also emerged as a leading candidate -- he was interviewed today in DC.
Both state Rep. Jose Felix "Pepi" Diaz, 37, and John Couriel, 39, have interviewed with the Justice Department and were recommended, along with longtime attorney Jon Sale, for the Southern District of Florida U.S. Attorney post by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, said sources familiar with the process. They say Trump, who has allowed too many federal vacancies to remain open, wants to make a choice soon.
Diaz is seen by some as a slight favorite because he has had a personal relationship with the president since 2006 when he was a contestant on Trump’s TV show, “The Apprentice.”
But others point out that Couriel has a strong backer in Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, Couriel’s longtime friend and old Harvard classmate who was an ally of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions when he served as Alabama senator. He has Federalist Society and top administration lawyers advocating for him.
This is a pretty important post for Trump considering how much time he and his colleagues spend down here. Many have said that he has taken a personal interest in who is going to get the gig. Good luck to all.