HOMESTEAD (CBSMiami) – Jeffrey Porter declared victory in the Homestead mayoral race Tuesday night.
He defeated Mark Bell with 55% of the vote, or 1,649 votes.
Surrounded by friends, family and his loyal “Porter Supporters”, the former councilman and Vice Mayor celebrated his election win at the White Lion Cafe.
Porter said he received a phone call from his opponent, Mark Bell, conceding the race.
“I wish him the best,” Porter said.
If Bell decides to run for elected office again, Porter suggested he should not try to “start at the top”.
Bell is the husband of Miami-Dade County Commissioner Lynda Bell.
“These races are tough,” Bell said at a watch party at Hotel Redland.
Porter accused bell’s campaign if trying to buy the election.
“This is a win for Homestead,” Porter told CBS4’s Lauren Pastrana.
Porter hopes the change in leadership will help Homestead move on following the arrest of its former Mayor Steve Bateman.
Bateman was arrested in August on public corruption charges and then again last week on allegations of campaign finance violations.
He ran for re-election, but lost in the primary.
The mayor’s seat wasn’t the only one up for grabs in Homestead.
Stephen Shelley will take over as Vice Mayor and Jimmie L Williams III will squeak out a victory for Council Seat 4.