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Philip Levine Leads Miami Beach’s Mayoral Race

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(Source: CBS4)

(Source: CBS4)

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David Sutta joined the CBS4 news team in April of 2007. As S...
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MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – After a long, at times circus-like, election season, Miami Beach’s mayoral race ended Tuesday night.

The candidates include businessman Philip Levine, Commissioner Michael Góngora, former comedian Steve Berke and Raphael Herman.

Entering to the “Rocky” theme song, Philip Levine took the stage Tuesday night declaring himself as Miami Beach’s next mayor.

While a machine recount is likely to ensure that Levine did indeed garner more than 50-percent of the votes, he celebrated his win on stage at an elaborate party at his company’s headquarters parking lot.

“Let me say this. This is the most humbling night of my entire life,” said Levine.

The preliminary results had Levine at 50.47-percent, he needed 50-percent of the vote to win, Michael Gongora trailed behind Levine with 36-percent, former comedian Steve Berke came in with 12-percent, and with merely 1-percent of the vote was candidate Raphael Herman.

Levine, despite the recount, is already looking to fill open commissioner seats.

“There are some very important runoffs.  And what I say to you all tonight is please stay involved over the next two weeks so we can complete the change we need to do on Miami Beach,” said Levine.

Across town Michael Gongora’s base was holding out hope but even Gongora admitted the odds were likely against him.

“Obviously I’m disappointed with the results.  But thinking about realistically after the fact when somebody spends millions of dollars compared to the couple of hundreds of thousands of dollars that we had to spend it’s not unexpected that the results would come out this way,” said Gongora.

According to Gongora he was outspent 10-to-1, perhaps making this mayoral election the most expensive in Miami Beach’s history.

“It’s all about the money.  I think we learned a lesson in this race. As optimistic and hopeful as we are when somebody is spending millions of dollars in attempt to buy the mayor’s seat in a small town… it’s hard to compete with that,” said Gongora.

Steve Berke, with a little over 12-percent of the vote, has to put his idea of building a sky link from the beach to Miami to rest.

For complete election night results go to http://results.enr.clarityelections.com/FL/Dade/49184/120679/en/summary.html.

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