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Braman Candidates Come Up Short In Miami-Dade Commission Races

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(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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campaign 2012 new2 Braman Candidates Come Up Short In Miami Dade Commission Races

MIAMI-DADE (CBSMiami) – As the dust settles on Miami-Dade County’s primary, one thing became clear: all of Norman Braman’s preferred candidates lost.

There were a total of five county commission races in Miami-Dade County set to be decided Tuesday night, but the one that garnered the most attention was District 1.

Incumbent Barbara Jordan was trying to fend off Miami Gardens Mayor Shirley Gibson to represent the county’s middle and northern areas. Jordan has been on the commission for eight years. Gibson is backed by billionaire auto magnate Norman Braman.

In the end, even Braman’s support couldn’t give Gibson enough help to overcome Jordan.

With 100 percent of the precincts reporting, Jordan easily won the primary beating Gibson 59 percent to 35 percent.

“I had faith in the residents of District 1,” Jordan said. “They knew my record. They knew what I’ve done for this community and they did not disappoint. I want to make sure I do everything possible to bring more employment opportunities. We want to make sure that our local manufacturers get the first opportunity for anything that is done by the county.”

The winner of the District 1 battle represents a region that resembles an upside down pyramid, with Opa-locka to the south, and which gains width as it heads north through Central Dade into Miami Gardens. Its 200,000 residents are predominantly black, accounting for almost three-fifths of the population.

Historically, District 1 has been one of the county’s poorer regions, slicing through parts of Liberty City into Carol City and Norland.

Win or lose on Aug. 14, Gibson will remain Miami Gardens mayor until the Nov. 6 general election.

COUNTY COMMISSION DISTRICT 3

In District 3, incumbent Audrey Edmonson was running for a third term. Her attempt to stay out of a runoff with Alison Austin has been complicated by the entrance of a well-connected young challenger, Keon Hardemon.

Austin is also being supported by wealthy car dealer Norman Braman.

With 100 percent of precincts in, Edmonson won 43 percent of the vote to 20 percent for Hardemon and Austin’s 16 percent.

Since no candidate won more than 50 percent of the vote, the race will now head to a winner-take all runoff in November.

COUNTY COMMISSION DISTRICT 5

In District 5, Bruno Barreiro is the third of four incumbent commissioners facing reelection against opponents supported by Norman Braman.

Braman supports challenger state Rep. Luis Garcia in the District 5 race.

District 5 spans across neighborhoods along the Miami River, the Roads, Little Havana and the southern and eastern portions of Miami Beach.

Barreiro, in county office for 14 years, is counting on his widespread name recognition and his family’s deep Little Havana roots to translate into victory.

Much like the other races that Braman tried to influence, his preferred candidate came up short.

With all 66 precincts reporting, Barreiro won 50.1 percent of the vote and Garcia pulled in 33 percent of the vote.

COUNTY COMMISSION DISTRICT 9

In District 9, incumbent Dennis Moss is trying to secure his fifth term against Alice Pena, the fourth candidate supported by Norman Braman.

Pena has said she’s seeking the post representing South Dade to try to eliminate waste and mismanagement in the county’s sprawling bureaucracy.

Moss campaigned on experience.

With all 70 precincts reporting, Moss easily won 60 percent of the vote compared to Pena’s 23 percent.

District 9 is the largest of Miami-Dade’s 13 districts. Its roughly 200,000 residents live as far north as Cutler Bay, south to the Monroe county line and west to the Everglades. The district includes a cluster of cities that run along U.S. 1, including Perrine, Goulds and Naranja Lakes. It’s also the by far the most agricultural of the county’s 13 districts, covering the farming communities of The Redland, Homestead and Florida City.

COUNTY COMMISSION DISTRICT 11

Finally, in District 11, Juan C. Zapata was the front-runner to replace incumbent Joe Martinez who unsuccessfully ran for Miami-Dade Mayor.

The battle for the only open seat on the commission this year also included political newcomers Manny Machado, a Miami-Dade police detective, and Javier Muñoz, a network engineer at Florida International University.

District 11 encompasses a swath of unincorporated west Miami-Dade, including the neighborhoods of Country Walk, the Hammocks, Kendale Lakes and Lakes by the Meadow.

With all 46 precincts reporting, Zapata commanded 48 percent of the vote to Machado’s 37 percent and Munoz’s 15 percent.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed material for this report.)

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