The results are in from yesterday's run-off elections in three Miami-Dade cities.
In Miami, former state senator Alex Diaz de la Portilla won over auto parts retailer Miguel Angel-Gabela to represent District 1.
Diaz de la Portilla won with 60% of the vote. He had about a 20 point lead on Gabela in the general election and won yesterday's runoff by a similar margin.
In Hialeah, Jesus Tundidor, former vice-chair of the city’s planning and zoning board, won the race for the Group 2 council seat with about 65% of the vote.
“I think Tundidor has been knocking on doors for a very long time,” Sasha Tirador, who described herself as campaign manager for the mayor’s slate of candidates, told the Miami Herald. “I also know that he’s wanted to become an elected official for many years and he’s got that fire in the belly that the new generations have. When they want something, they go after it, and he’s worked very hard.”
Tundidor has expressed long-term plans to create housing for young professionals and bring mass transit to the city to ease the commute from there to downtown.
His opponent, Luis González lost with about 35% of the vote even though he was strongly endorsed by Hialeah's current mayor, Carlos Hernández. Political observers have said that González's loss shows diminished influence of the mayor in city politics.
Although Hernández's support might have helped Jacqueline García-Roves, who won the Group 3 runoff with 54 % of the vote and was endorsed by the mayor. She defeated Milly Herrera, a community activist.
In an upset victory in Miami Beach, first-time candidate Steven Meiner defeated Kristen Rosen-Gonzalez for her old seat on the City Commission.
The winner's friends have dubbed the win the "Meiner Miracle," according to the Miami Herald.
It was a close call that secured Meiner's spot in the runoff election. He came out on top of the third-place finished by just two votes in a decisive manual recount. Finally, defeating Rosen-Gonzalez by 8 percentage points yesterday.
In other Miami Beach district races, former lawmaker David Richardson defeated restaurant owner Adrian Gonzalez for a commission seat in Group VI. Also, incumbent Commissioner and Vice Mayor Ricky Arriola defeated Raquel Pacheco for his seat in Group V.