Who won the Miami Beach Commission second round on November 16?

Three years after relinquishing her seat on the Miami Beach Commission to run for Congress, Kristen Rosen Gonzalez fought to return to the stage as voters in the second round of Tuesday’s election picked her up rather than his opponent Raquel Pacheco to occupy the city’s Group I seat.

Voters also elected Alex Fernandez, a member of the Planning Council, to the seat of Group III of the commission.

Rosen Gonzalez, 48, won the second round of parliamentary elections on Tuesday with around 55% of the vote. Fernandez, 35, beat investor Stephen Cohen with around 60% of the vote.

Tuesday’s second round of elections took place for both races after none of the candidates received more than 50% of the total vote in the first round of voting on November 2. The terms of the Commission lasted four years.

Rosen Gonzalez, who was first elected in 2015 but resigned to lead an ill-fated congressional campaign in 2018, occupies a seat vacated by limited-term commissioner Micky Steinberg. His victory follows an unsuccessful comeback attempt in 2019.

“Tonight was an important victory for the people of Miami Beach,” she wrote. in a Tuesday night statement that also congratulated Pacheco on his campaign and Fernandez on his victory. “I am deeply grateful for their trust and intend to exceed their expectations.”

The Miami-Dade College professor and community activist, who has used her political influence to successfully oppose development projects on city-owned land, said she would give residents an independent voice within the community. commission.

But Rosen Gonzalez’s activism – and his straightforward politics – earned him enemies on the commission, as the sitting mayor and two commissioners backed Pacheco’s campaign. Rosen Gonzalez, who has blundered and fought ethics complaints since her first election, said she felt like she was facing the political machine of city leaders and the Miami Democratic Party -Dade, whose leaders berated her in September when she falsely claimed to be Hispanic.

On her victory party, Rosen Gonzalez said she hoped she could reestablish relations with her political opponents and move the city forward together. She thanked her supporters and the volunteers who worked on her campaign, drinking with them.

“We were up against the meanest, meanest machine. It was a lot of negative energy coming to us. The attacks were vicious, ”she said. “We had a different type of machine. We had a resident machine.

Rosen Gonzalez came out as the most resident-focused candidate, saying she had no paid campaign consultant and fewer resources than Pacheco despite raising more money and spending more. Pacheco, who has come under repeated attacks from Rosen Gonzalez and his supporters in recent days, said it was Rosen Gonzalez who contributed to the race’s negativity.

Rosen Gonzalez was backed by former city commissioners and former mayor Matti Bower, who also advised her campaign. Rosen Gonzalez campaigned to improve public safety in South Beach and throughout the city with an increase in police personnel and an enforcement of “zero tolerance” even for minor crimes. Another key pillar of his campaign was to prevent the sale of the North Shore Branch Library.

Fernandez will join her on the committee, succeeding limited-term commissioner Michael Góngora. His campaign focused on tackling crime in South Beach with an increase in law enforcement and law enforcement personnel and the limitation of short-term rentals.

Fernandez works as a legislative assistant to Miami-Dade County Commissioner Rebeca Sosa and served as chair of the Miami Beach Police-Citizen Relations Committee.

Fernandez made a late entry into the Group III race. He submitted his candidacy in September after a judge ruled that Góngora, who had sued the city to challenge his term limit, could not stand for re-election. Góngora endorsed Fernandez, whom he once defeated in a bitter commission race in 2009. Miami Beach mayor Dan Gelber and Miami-Dade mayor Daniella Levine Cava also backed Fernandez.

Fernandez, a former Miami Beach commission aide, campaigned on his experience drafting legislation and his first-hand knowledge of the city’s planning and policing challenges.

“I am so grateful for the trust the community has placed in me,” Fernandez wrote in a statement. “Today’s victory is a message that residents want a cleaner, safer and more resilient Miami Beach. My commitment is to honor their wishes by serving with integrity, accessibility and a mission to do well.

One of the issues the new commission will face will be how to enact new alcohol restrictions after voters approved a non-binding referendum calling for a new 2 a.m. call for alcohol sales in the whole city, with exceptions to be determined by the commission. Pacheco and Cohen did not personally support the referendum, but said they would follow the will of the voters.

Rosen Gonzalez said adopting new alcohol restrictions and improving public safety will be a key priority for the commission. She said she believed she, Fernandez and Commissioners Mark Samuelian and Steven Meiner would form a “resident majority” of four who can help prevent the North Beach Library site from being sold to a private developer. She said Meiner and Samuelian unofficially supported her campaign, although they did not publicly support her. The other three commissioners, including Gelber, supported Pacheco.

“We want to make sure Miami Beach is safe, we want to respect the will of the voters,” she told the Herald. “We have before us many difficult bills. I will be there for the residents because I want them to feel safe in their neighborhood.

This story was originally published November 16, 2021 8:51 pm.

Martin Vassolo covers Miami Beach politics and government for the Miami Herald. He started working for the Herald in January 2018 after attending the University of Florida, where he was editor of The Independent Florida Alligator. Previously, he was a general assignment reporter in the Herald subway office and political reporting intern.

Source link

About Jermaine Chase

Check Also

Innovative vacation rental platform market strategy by 2031 – Queen Anne and Mangolia News

Proposal Vacation rental platform market The report will encompass all qualitative and quantitative aspects including …