Overwhelming Vote For Recall Removes Alvarez, Seijas

MIAMI – (CBSMiami.com) – The voters have spoken, and what they said to Miami-Dade Mayor and District 13 commissioner Natacha Seijas is “Good-bye.” By a margin of almost 9-1, voters recalled the veteran politicians and set the stage for a new day in Miami-Dade politics.

At 10:30 p.m., with 100 Percent of the vote tabulated, 88%, or 180,152 voters voted to remove Alvarez from office, the first time this has ever happened in a municipal government as large as Miami-Dade.

In District 13, Voters chose to remove Commissioner Seijas by the same margin, 88%-12%, with 16,999 voters deciding Seijas should go.

Click For Reaction From Backers Of Seijas Recall

The final results must be approved by the county canvassing board before they are official.

Get complete results here.

Alvarez and Seijas faced removal from office because both supported a county budget that raised the tax rate, and the taxes of many Miami-Dade residents, even as it granted raises to thousands of county employees, including some members of Alvarez’s personal staff.

Neither Seijas nor Alvarez would speak with reporters Tuesday, and neither were available for comment as the results come in, but Alvarez released a statement through his county office.

“It has been an honor and privilege to serve this community for the past 35 years,” Alvarez said in his statement.  “The voters have spoken and a time of healing and reconciliation must now begin.  No matter which side of the recall issue, one thing is certain: we all care very deeply about this community.”

“I wish the next Mayor of Miami-Dade County much success.”


Billionaire businessman Norman Braman, architect of the recall vote, said he was surprised by the margin voters approved the recall.

“I’m frankly overwhelmed,” said Braman at a news conference as the last of the numbers rolled in. “We felt confident but to be very candid not this type of overwhelming response.”

Barman threatened to recall the mayor if a tax hike plan to raise property taxes by up to 14% was passed. Alvarez pressed on the plan was passed. Braman got right to work.

“We’re afraid of the county,” Braman said in Tuesday night’s press conference. “We’re afraid of the city. We’re afraid of that. Well damn it, I’m not afraid.”

Alvarez stood his ground defending his budget.

“I don’t want to be the mayor that quiet frankly craps on public service,” Alvarez said.

On November 5, Braman hauled 113,000 signed petitions to have a recall election.

“I have never lost any sleep over any election, and you know why? Because at the end of the day the citizens will decide,” Alvarez said.

Alvarez did try to stop the election though. He filed two separate lawsuits.

“I’m not going to appeal it I won an election and people will decide if March 15 I’m their mayor or not,’ Alvarez said earlier.

Braman said the recall of Mayor Alvarez is just the first step, and called upon the Commission to immediately schedule a vote to elect a replacement.

“It is important that the new mayor be elected by the voters,” Braman said, “and not appointed by the county commission.”

Braman said electing a new mayor won’t fix many of the county’s problems, and called upon commissioners to consider serious charter reform, and allow voters to put changes in the county charter directly on the ballot.

He said he planned to endorse no candidate for mayor. “I am not a kingmaker,” he promised. However, he said he would present his reform plan to candidates and make it clear to voters who supports it, and who does not.


Hialeah Mayor Julio Robiana, who announced months ago he would run for Mayor if Alvarez was removed, appears to be on board the Braman bandwagon.

“The voters of this community have spoken clearly,” he said in a statement Tuesday night,  “and it is now time to begin to work to foster a new era that must start with Charter Reform, lower taxes and fiscal discipline.

“I am confident that voters will be given the opportunity to elect in a Special Election the leadership that will guide the County through this new phase.”


Even though voters approved the recall, Alvarez and Seijas will remain mayor and commissioner respectively tomorrow. The recall and removal from office will only go into effect after the election canvassing board meets to certify the results, a process that could take a few days to complete, but which should be completed by Friday

If the vote is certified, the Miami-Dade commission has 30 days to appoint a replacement for Alvarez. If they appoint someone, that replacement will be mayor until the next countywide election which is scheduled for January 2012, during the Republican presidential primary.

The winner of that election would have run again in November 2012 when Alvarez’s term is up. An appointed replacement will not serve out the remainder of Alvarez’s term. They will only serve till January.

If the commission does not appoint a replacement then they have to set a day for an election, to be held within 60 days, probably sometime around end of May or early June.

The winner of that election would serve out the remainder of Alvarez’s term, which ends in November 2012.

A number of candidates have already said they plan to run for the Mayor’s job if Alvarez is ousted, but in a recent Miami Herald-CBS4-Univision poll no clear front runner had emerged.

  • BEN

    Thank God. Enought was ENOUGH!!!!

  • Robert Desbiens

    Well, it seems that enough people in this county actually care enough to do what’s right, first by voting, second for not allowing Strong Mayor Alvarez to rule all by himself!. For Norman Braman, all I can say is thanks! I hope the numbers hold up!

  • Veteran of the poliwars

    Hope that the replacements aren’t more of the same.

  • Carlos Morales

    THANK GOD 2 out 18 to go

  • myriam

    Good ridance!!! And as for Seijas, she should move to Sicily.

  • Buz Bowen

    Obama is next recall recall tomorrow

    • Teri

      No I think Tomas Regalado should be next on the list. Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments.

  • Kenneth Balduf

    Thanks to all those who voted and got rid of these crooks!

  • P. Nis

    Thank you Mr Braman and the people behind Miami Voice for getting the ball rolling and thanks to the voters who put these politicians where they belong, OUT OF A JOB!

  • Everett Hill

    Don’t like the expense of fireworks but it will work for me!

  • myra

    Awesome job Dade County voters and Mr. Braman. This really brought the community together for a common cause that is so important to us.

    I hope this puts on notice any current commissioner that the clock is ticking and charter changes are on their way. Time to clean up county hall and get rid of the incompetence that lurks in those corridors.

  • Elliott

    A special thanks to Mr. Braman. My next car may be a Honda. Many thanks to all of us who got up and went to vote… we got them out. Of course they don’t want to speak to the press!

  • ballplayer

    Thanks Mr. Braman. Now 7 more commissioners who voted for the budget need to go

  • Dislike conservatives

    the next recall: Rick Scott

    as far as Natasha: Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead

    • Philip Scharfy

      But it was two tax and spend corrupt ;IBERALS that just got the boot…

      • Dislike conservatives

        Carlitos was Republican

        Scott already broke his Job promise by letting go state corrections officer and hiring a company from Colorado that contributed to his campaign to monitor parolees. Also how is Florida going to be successful if he guts education. Finally why are repubs so against government except to take away abortion rights ?

  • Redux

    A change may well bring more of the same, but give us time to find displeasure in a new face. Then watch us again serve up the same bitter antidote

  • CrookedPBAUnionLost

    Probably the only people who voted in favor to keep these two crooks were the police and fire unions. Look at what the crooked Police Benevolent Association posted on their website regrading the Crooked Mayor and the Mafioso Commissioner:

    “Law enforcement is under attack —from the brutal attacks and killings that are happening across the state from violent criminals to attacks on officers’ livelihoods from politicians here locally and on the State level. Right now we need to keep every friend we have. We need to keep people in office who understand, appreciate and are willing to fight for law enforcement with steel like convictions.

    If Commissioner Natacha Seijas and Mayor Alvarez are re-called, those individuals waiting in the wings with political aspiration eyeing those positions are not staunch law enforcement champions. Some of the candidates who want to run for those positions have track records and agendas that are anti-law enforcement. They will go after your livelihoods. They will not be vocal advocates. “

    • QI77

      CORRECT !

      A Deal is a Deal when you buy UNION votes … they come through for you !!
      11% or 12% of the vote is not that bad … It can get you elected in a regular election .. just not this one …

      Sorry, Now they need another politician to sell they votes to

      UNION votes for sale! UNION votes for sale!

      wait a minute, yes, I see a new line of politicans forming to the left
      and they all have taxpayer dollars to buy you votes!


    Yes, Let’s recall Rick Scott..

    • Lynsu

      I’m with you Reina! DOWN WITH RICK SCOTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • John

    Good riddance! Too bad we couldn’t boot the Marlins and their new ball park out of the county as well.

    • Teri

      Agreed too bad we have to deal with the debt

  • Kenneth Karger

    Lets get someone who looks out for THE PEOPLE. and not just a few personal buddies!

    Ken Karger

  • Steve Louis-Charles

    Right On!

  • LoriSunrise

    Norman ! We need you here in Broward County !
    The School District out of control – The County Board Building an over 600 Million dollar courthouse with 650.000 of “Artwork” to deck the halls. All of this during a ression with a budget shortfall ? What are these clowns thinking ?????? I know what I’m thinking ! I’m PISSED !

  • rick reg

    I forgot Joseph which canidate and party handed over billions of dollars to AIG, General Motors and Chrystler, I guess ignrance is truly bliss

  • Marshall

    I think that this was a huge mistake.
    By all accounts, Alavarez is an honest person. He is guilty of sometimes poor judgement and loyalty to his employees. He is not corrupt like so many others before him.
    I don’t think a costly recall election is appropriate to simply recall someone because of policy differences. Now we will taxpayers will have to fund another expensive election that will most likely yield no change in government. Miami Dade can’t back out of the stadium or the tunnel now without costly lawsuits.
    The only good that might come of this might be the passage of some needed charter changes.

    • Philip Scharfy

      Raising taxes and giving millions to your cronies was definately “poor judgement”

    • Johnny know it all

      Marshall you are a moron, i know carlos and he is an arrogant, self absorbed, back stabbing SOB, and all that he gets he deserves because he has done the same to so many people.

      By the way check some of the contracts awarded in the marlins stadium, see if there are some cronies getting payola, and oh why oh why did the marlins and the PBA donate 50K to his defense fund.

  • Frank Rodriguez

    I wish we could do the same for Obama and all his cronies, hopefully the country will wise up in 2012.

    • Lynsu

      Too bad George Bush was not recalled before he and his cronies trashed America!!!!

    • Teri

      Much like the cronies that have put this city/county into debt for nearly twenty years and no one has has the ability to challenge them until now?

    • myriam

      Its a shame Bush distroyed this country beyond repair and village idiots are blaming Obama.

      • Philip Scharfy


        Bush didn’t spend 12.5 million dollars counting ig-farts in Illinois!

        Bush didn’t give Billions of dollars to GM, Chrysler and Wall Street cronies at AIG and elseware — that was Obama.

        And it was those Liar’s Mortgages (a Klinton invention) that brought down the economy, not Bush

        Back on your med’s Miriam and lay off the bong

  • erasmo rodriguez

    yes I agreed with joseph dumas the next on line should be rick scott
    after all he stold the election and should be removed

  • Philip Scharfy

    If you will put your tinfoil beanie back on it will block out those deranged DNnC comrad’s voices commanding you to rant nonsesence and lies. Getting back on your meds and getting rid of your crackpipe wouldn’t hurt either…

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