DORAL (CBS4) – Miami-Dade voters headed to the polls on Tuesday to cast their ballot for the county’s next mayor.

For the voters, it’s the end of an increasingly bitter campaign to replace former Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez.

“We do need some change, this is a wonderful county,” said voter Lilia Silva.

Voter Aldo Charafurdin echoed Silva’s sentiment saying there are “too many problems in this county we need to fix.”

For the candidates, the campaign and countless debates pitching their respective platforms have finally ended.

“It’s almost over,” said mayoral candidate and former county commissioner Carlos Gimenez. “We are ready to go to work after the results come in tonight, then we go from there. But we have run a good campaign, a campaign of family, friends all over Miami-Dade County supporting our cause. We will find out tonight if it was enough.”

For Gimenez, the key to his campaign is distancing himself from Alvarez and convincing voters that despite being on the county comission for several years he has not been a part of the problem.

“I will never make the same mistakes Alvarez made because I fought against every one of his mistakes,” Gimenez said. “I was Carlos Alvarez’s worse nightmare on the county commission.”

Gimenez’s opponent was also optimistic about his chances in the election. Julio Robaina started his day casting his ballot as his precinct in Hialeah.

The former Hialeah mayor  is hoping to make it into county hall to lead Miami-Dade in a new direction.

Robaina won the special election last month by five points.  He’s been working hard to increase that lead by courting voters outside of his Hialeah base.  Robaina is hoping 2 Live Crew rapper and former mayoral candidate Luther Campbell’s endorsement will help with that.

“We’re going to continue to work very hard to make sure we get all those voters that are out there,” said mayoral candidate and former Hialeah mayor Julio Robaina. “We want people to come and vote and obviously we want to send a clear message that we don’t want some of the same old actions that we’ve been getting from the county.”

Robaina’s campaign focused on his track record in Hialeah, saying he balanced the budget, didn’t raise taxes and kept vital services during tough economic times.

Robaina said he’s confident that voters will make the right choice.

“A lot of time and money has gone into the recall and the election and for us now to determine who is going to be the next mayor, the leader of the people.  That’s what we want.  That’s what we need,” said Robaina.

Both candidates plan to do a little last minute campaigning on Tuesday to rally their supporters to get out and vote.

Web Extra: News & Views: Miami-Dade Mayoral Debate Pt. 1

Web Extra: News & Views: Miami-Dade Mayoral Debate Pt. 2

Web Extra: News & Views: Miami-Dade Mayoral Debate Pt. 3

During the early voting period last week the Miami-Dade Elections Department said a total of 36,691 voters cast their ballots at select polling locations.  Additionally, of the 127,271 absentee ballots mailed out, more than 77,000 had been returned.  Voters have until the close of polls Tuesday to return an absentee ballot.

Voters planning to cast their ballots on Tuesday should go to their own neighborhood polling place; the polls will be open until 7 p.m. Voters at some Miami Beach precincts will find a note when they arrive at their usual polling place, directing them to a new location, as some precincts have been moved because children’s’ summer programs underway there.

Click Here For Polling Location Changes

You can get complete information about the changes, find out about the candidates, get sample ballots and more by visiting the CBSMiami Special Elections page, which will also have the fastest results on election day.

Comments (10)
  1. Save Miami Dade co vote Gimenez says:

    Vote for Gimenez. Robaina left Hialeah in a terrible state. The city of Hialeah has an unemployment rate of 17.3%. He never addressed the issues that Hialeah needed addressed. He is in it for himself. Vote ‘no’ to Robaina.

    1. sheila lieberman says:

      I agree that Robaina is bad, but all I got from either campaign was how horrible the other guy is. This is no way to get my vote.

  2. cliff says:

    The way to change the world is to change people’s minds. As more and more people openly discuss the fact that “God” and “Allah” are completely imaginary, the world becomes a better place. The people who believe in “religion” look sillier and sillier. Eventually, religion becomes a fringe activity that is meaningless.

    Whenever anyone says “God,” we should reply, “God is imaginary.”

    1. Phil Landers says:

      Praise Jezeus!

    2. sheila lieberman says:

      I will not tell someone to not believe in G-d. I will tell someone that if they believe in G-d they must believe in equality. They must believe that we are all one and deserve to be treated fairly in all things. To demand that there be no belief in G-d is just as much cause for war as the bull that flies about now that Allah is any different from G-d, as they are the same, it’s in the books we call Bible and Koran. They are the same ONE.

  3. nevada says:

    Those who suffer from the tumultuous emotion of patriotism, commonly encourage the love of one’s own country and its frequent offspring, war. Politicians invoke patriotism to stimulate sacrifices from those who will suffer the most from war. As George Bernard Shaw asserted so humorously but succinctly, “Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all others, merely because you were born in it”.

    Patriotism is to politics what faith is to religion: The unquestioned acceptance of information that is either unverified or that may actually be in conflict with factual evidence. Patriotism is the incubator of wars.

    Similar to religion, patriotism is an emotion, as opposed to a rational thought process. Studies and surveys have consistently indicated that approximately 90% of persons in any given country have strong patriotic sentiments. This percentage is similar to the percentage of people involved in other faith-based activities, such as religion. This same percentage also reflects the bell-curve of the general intelligence level of a population: 90% of all persons in a Caucasian population group register an IQ below 120.

    1. JCT says:

      Caucasians?..Where?, may be in Norway because here in the USA the mix is so mixed that nobody can tell. LOL

  4. sheila lieberman says:

    According to what Jim Defede said this election is costing the county 15 million dollars. For this we get a new mayor for 16 months before we have yet another election for mayor. I have just returned from my precinct. I was the first to vote, after noon and I am the first to enter the door? I am incensed over this. I want to know since this was Braman’s idea, why he is not paying for this entire debacle. For 16 months???? And I am the only one in my precinct to vote? yes, even my husband skipped…….I am ashamed of this county for listening to Braman!!!

    1. JCT says:

      you got what you vote for.LOL

      1. sheila lieberman says:

        I did not vote for multiple elections for Norman Braman’s happiness.

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