MIAMI (CBS4) – Nearly a dozen people who want to be Miami-Dade’s next mayor have filed the necessary paperwork to be placed on the May 24th special election ballot.
Both the mayor’s position and District 13 commission seat were left vacant after a March 15 recall election in which 88 percent of those who voted said then Mayor Carlos Alvarez and Commissioner Natcha Seijas should be removed from office.
The deadline to file was 5 p.m. Tuesday.
The latest to file their paperwork were County Commissioner Carlos Gimenez and Gabrielle Redfern.
Gimenez and Redfern will be going up against former state Rep. Marcelo Llorente, former county transit director Roosevelt Bradley, economist Farid A Khavari, fireman turned community activist Jeffrey Lampert, Jose ‘Pepe’ Cancio, 2 Live Crew front man Luther Campbell, former Hialeah mayor Julio Robaina, Eddie Lewis and Wilbur B. Bell.
Julio Robaina resigned his position as mayor of Hialeah to run for the mayor’s office.
“We just formally registered to be a candidate for Miami-Dade county mayor,” Robina said. “We are ready to take on the challenge of reforming Miami-Dade County to reign in a budget of $7.3 billion.”
One of the first to file was Llorente who said voters will be attracted by his campaign’s message.
“They’ll see our message of optimism, hope for the future and quality of life that we’d like to provide for our kids,” said Llorente.
“I’m running because I want to make a difference,” said Cancio.
As for Lampert, he said his message is one of getting back to the basics.
“We need to trim government. We need to give government back to the people,” said Lampert.
Before filing his paperwork, Campbell addressed a group in Miami Beach.
“My major hurdle is people taking me seriously, a lot of people think this is a joke,” Campbell told the crowd who swore he’s serious about the mayor’s job. “I call it a banana republic and I’m serious about it. You look at the commission and they make their own rules as they go, regardless of what the county attorney says, they make their own rules, just do what they want. They have no respect for the people.”
Former Hialeah Mayor Raul Martinez, who at one time said he was considering a run, changed his mind. Instead, the 62-year-old said he would try to reclaim his seat as Hialeah’s Mayor. Martinez served as Hialeah’s Mayor from 1981 to 1990 and then again from 1993 to 2005. In 2008 he made an unsuccessful bid for Congress.
Another former mayor also changed his mind about throwing his hat in the ring. Former Miami-Dade Mayor Alex Penelas, who last week said he was seriously considering it, now says he’s tired of politics in Miami-Dade and will not enter his name.
The winner of that election would serve out the remainder of Alvarez’s term which ends in November 2012.
In the race for the District 13 seat, voters will cast their ballots for Esteban L. Bovo Jr., Alan Rigerman, Tania Castellanos or Carlos Amaro.