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Eileen Higgins Wins Miami-Dade Commission Seat In Upset Over Zoraida Barreiro

eileen_higgins_election_night.jpeg
Sam Navarro
/
Miami Herald
Eileen Higgins, center, candidate for vacant Miami-Dade County Commission District 5 seat, reacts with campaign communications director Guillermo Perez, left, after learning the first results of the special election during a party in Brickell.

Political newcomer Eileen Higgins won a seat on the Miami-Dade County Commission on Tuesday, defeating the better-funded campaign of the former commissioner's wife to scramble the conventional wisdom of who can get elected in a heavily Hispanic district in Miami.

Higgins, a Spanish-speaking Ohio native who adopted the campaign moniker "La Gringa," won by six points over Zoraida Barreiro, the Cuban-born wife of Bruno Barreiro, who resigned to run in a Republican congressional primary. With all 60 precincts reporting, Higgins had 53 percent of the vote, and Barreiro 47 percent.

"Well, we did it," Higgins told a packed crowd of campaign volunteers at the American Social restaurant on the Miami River. "When I got started, it really was about making sure that our neighborhood, our friends, our neighbors, and the rest of the county felt represented. And that we put people first, rather than special interests."

Read more at our news partner, the Miami Herald