HIALEAH (CBS4) – Miami-Dade’s second largest city is being dragged into a political dog fight for the next County mayor.
Hialeah was recently mentioned repeatedly in a robo-call to voters leading up to Election Day. In the recording a woman says “We aren’t Hialeah. Nor do we want to be. Let’s stop Hialeah’s Robaina from importing his brand of shady politics to our neighborhood.”READ MORE: Parents Of Michigan School Shooting Suspect Arrested
The spot blasts Julio Robaina who was once Hialeah’s mayor and now in a tight runoff off with Carlos Gimenez.
The recording appears to pit Hialeah against the rest of the county. “We can’t trust Hialeah’s Robaina. Irresponsible development, traffic congestion and noise, backroom deals and illegal gambling — is that what we want in our neighborhood?” it says.
The spot is paid for by the Committee for Honest Government, a political action committee with ties to Robaina’s opponent Gimenez.
Robaina told us has no doubt Gimenez is behind it.
“The call is done by the same voice that has done by all these robo-calls that he has put out. The same people that control one PAC control his PAC. And so all the similarities are there.” Robaina told CBS4’s David Sutta.
Robaina himself has put out robo-calls as well. But he says this is different.
“That’s part of a campaign. But when you pit one community against another, when you try to degrade one community against another, that’s wrong.” Robaina said.READ MORE: CBS4 Investigates: Man Accused Of Killing Ryan Rogers Could Have Faced Two Decades In Prison For Prior Crime
We played the message for residents of Hialeah. It drew mixed reactions
“I totally agree with that,” responded Arelres Hiacio.
While some found truth in the call some were offended.
“I’m horrified.” Angelina Rodriguez told Sutta. “Hialeah is a wonderful place to live and he’s done a wonderful job keeping it that as a mayor.”
This afternoon Sutta spoke to Gimenez about the spot.
When asked if he was behind the spot he said, “Absolutely not.”
Sutta questioned him about the fact his treasurer of his PAC (political action committee) was the treasurer of the PAC that paid for the ad.
He told us he’s asked that treasurer to remove himself from the PAC in order to stay on his. Gimenez said he didn’t even know the treasurer and that he had heard the ad for the first time on Election Day.MORE NEWS: Glenneisha Darkins Perseveres During Art Week Despite Challenges
“This is a dirty trick and I hope that we can do better than that because the people of Miami-Dade deserve better.” Gimenez said.