Eight Days Til Mayoral Election, Candidates Continue To Throw Punches

MIAMI (CBS4) – A day after a new poll conducted by CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald showed former Miami-Dade commissioner Carlos Gimenez  with a commanding lead in the race to become Miami-Dade’s next mayor, there’s a sharp blast from the man who beat him in the primary election, former Hialeah mayor Julio Robaina.

“I have not been part of the problem for the past 7 years. County Commissioner has been there,” said Julio Robaina in a news conference.

Carlos Gimenez fired back, “Mr. Robaina is going to say and do anything to capture a vote but the voters are smarter than that.”

Late Monday, The Herald reported that Gimenez has dropped out of the remaining debates leading up to next week’s election saying Gimenez preferred to hit the streets, meeting directly with voters.

The poll, conducted by Bendixen and Amandi International, of people who said they would vote in the election, showed 50 percent would likely pick one time underdog Gimenez.

Only 39 percent said they would vote for Robaina, who has been the front runner since the March 15th recall of Carlos Alvarez. However,  11 percent of the voters said they had yet to make up their minds.

In previous polls done by the firm for The Herald, pre-election polling results for the mayoral recall and the special mayoral election were accurate predictors
of election results.

The poll shows an apparent shift in voter opinion of the candidates. Robaina was the top vote-getter in the May 24th special election, with 34 percent, and Gimenez finished second with 29 percent. However, the remaining votes were split among 9 other candidates, and the big question in the runoff election is who would get those votes.

The poll seems to show Gimenez winning that fight.

Marcelo Llorente finished third in the special election, and he later endorsed Giminez. According to the poll, 51 percent of Llorente’s supporters have moved into the Gimenez camp, while just 29 percent said they’d likely vote for Robaina.

Luther Campbell, who finished 4th and wavered on who to endorse before choosing Robaina in a controversial decision tainted by allegations of fraud, has also seen a substantial numbers of his supporters moved to Gimenez, according to the poll.

A recent Miami New Times interview raised questions whether Robaina made a deal with the former rap-star to get his endorsement. Claims Robaina has denied and now accuses Gimenez of offering Luther Campbell 40-thousand dollars for his support.

Even suggesting the State Attorney’s office investigate. CBS4 News has not been able to reach the State Attorney’s office.

Gimenez denies all claims, “not true. I have not offered anyone anything for any endorsement. You want to hear the truth the truth is that YouTube video,” Gimenez told CBS 4 reporter, Silva Harapetian. “That’s where Luther Campbell tells the truth.”

Voters who said they had or would vote by absentee ballot also gave the edge to Gimenez, 53-47 percent, important because in both the mayoral recall and the special election, the choices by absentee voters mirrored the overall electorate.

“I want to be the mayor of this community, I want to unite this community, you know because Miami-Dade County is a great place and we really need to come together,” said Gimenez.

It is not surprising that the Robaina campaign reacted by attacking the poll and the newspaper.

“The intent of the paper to dissuade voter participation by already attempting to declare its candidate the winner is unfortunate but not surprising given the publication’s unbalanced and questionable coverage of the race to date,” Robaina said in a statement released Sunday. “It would be appropriate for the Gimenez campaign to report as in-kind contributions the free publicity and the cost of the poll on its behalf, but the value of both exceed campaign contribution limits.”

Robaina made no such offer when previous polls showed him as the front-runner in the race for mayor.

Robaina, who stepped down as Hialeah’s mayor to run for the county’s mayor position, has been better bankrolled and flashier than Gimenez in his campaign. During campaign speeches, he has touted his record as Hialeah’s mayor and espoused change in county politics if he is elected.

Those polled, however, questioned Robaina’s integrity and business dealings, as analyzed by CBS4 I-Team Investigator Jim DeFede.

According to the poll Gimenez, a former county commissioner, has garnered support from various groups of voters including Hispanics under the age of 65, African Americans and non-Hispanic whites.

According to the polling numbers, Robaina received the most support from the northwest section of the county while Gimenenz has strong support east of I-95 and south of Flagler Street.

Pollster Amandi concludes that while older Hispanics are a powerful core group, Robaina’s failure to widen his appeal will lead to his loss in the June 28th election.

  • Vote NO to Robaina

    Please go out and VOTE. Vote for GIMENEZ. Mr Robaina has been involved in many questionable dealings. He is being investigated by many agencies. (IRS mortgage fraud etc) He has become a weathly man while in office in Hialeah . He has lost touch with the middle class. He only cares about what will benefit him.

  • Ray

    Robaina can’t be trusted, he has made many shady deals, and now one last deal with Uncle Luke, to get african am.votes….sure!! he is a snake, like he wants anything to do with blacks……..Gimenez will get the job done…Vote Gimenez….

  • ClayRenoit

    Carlos Gimenez fired back, “Mr. Robaina is going to say and do anything to capture a vote but the voters are smarter than that. To the both of you why when all the teachers and Fire/Police get job cuts. Why never Miami Dade Building & Zoning never gets job cuts just like the teachers that teach our kids. I will Vote for you and my friends will also vote. Why is it ok for Miami Dade Building & Zoning to scam billions of hard-earned dollars from home owners. Still charging fines from open permits from back as for as 2009.$500 each fine. When a fine is paid there should not be any other fine added to this fine. It’s open or it’s closed. I will vote for you and all 3000 friends will if you can remove all liens as for back as 2008 this is unreal. I and my 3000 friends are home owners too they to are sick because they can’t fix up there home or add something to better there yard. without fines and photo’s from Miami Dade Building & Zoning riding around and googling there yards by the internet and sending fines and liens on people that just bearly can make ends meet. Just planting flowers in there yard to make there property look better but with all the fees you can’t afford to fix not even your yard up.. If the both of you can stop all these scams stop all these liens on homeowners then you have our votes. if you refuse to help none of us votes. If you do like Rick Scott did tell everyone one thing and after being voted in make a 360% turn and no help no support. So to show him that the votes that give him his job can also be the votes to remove him. Sorry rick you can’t hold-up your end. So my 3000 plus friends and some more supporters can remove him from office. YOU HAVE OUR ATTENTION. DO YOU HAVE OURS? were tired of being scamed year after year and nothing being done about it. were thinking about not letting Miami Dade Building & Zoning run a scam on us after next year and all 3000 plus will be smart and move north to get respect. were sick of all the scams. People pay insurance, property taxes and other bills on there home that it took 30 plus years to pay-off and it takes Miami Dade Building & Zoning a few hours to put a lien on what we work so hard for. Something needs to be done about liens like a $10.000 dollar lien and this has to be paid before anyone can move to the next page like building a fence,yardwork a shed all this stuff that with the right wind will not stay. But if something has to be fix or fixed,painted Miami Dade Building & Zoning will check and if you did not jump and run and get a permit before fixing or painting of a shed thats been around since 2008 and is still standing. They will not let you know right then but weeks down the road that they put a lien on your home. even if its a shed or a fence not a lien on the shed or the fence but a lien on your home…a $10.000 dollar lien. After talking to 100’s of homeowners all of them still have liens on there property becuase a storm in the pass they just could not afford to try to get the lien taken off. Most can’t afford to pay $10.000 so after they die the kids will try to pay it. The other 1000 likes a lien on there home because Miami Dade Building & Zoning can’t run a scam on them and try to place a lien again. Peoples works to hards to let a scamer like miami dade building & zoning add a lien on there home for no reason. just so they can look like the jerk that they are. adding a $10.000 dollar lien the bad millions of people pay this fine just to get more. NOT FUNNY

    • Ivette

      I’ve been dealing with homeowners and violations for years…it’s really sad. Call me I might be able to help. 305-491-1293. Ivette.

  • Lov USA

    NOT Vote,for Robaina or Jimenez..Who cares??

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