HIALEAH (CBS4) – Inside Hialeah City Hall, named after the very man he is up against for reelection, Mayor Carlos Hernandez is celebrating his victory last night.
“I think the citizens of this city have seen that I’m a mayor of action and not false promises,” said Mayor Hernandez.
With just four months under his belt, Hernandez has facilitated the removal of red light cameras, extended park hours, and even taken a pay cut.
He’s now in a runoff with career politician Raul Martinez.
“He’s someone who is running for the wrong reasons and that’s why 65% rejected him yesterday,” said Hernandez. “This is a gentleman who is running because of a need of power, of vengeance and those are not reasons to run.”
Across town at Raul Martinez election headquarters, Martinez sees the glass half full.
“Sixty percent voted against Carlos so we are even. I think it’s a brand new election.” he said.
If you sense there is no love lost between these two candidates you are right. With two weeks in the runoff both parties are promising an ugly fight.
“Do people expect me to just say nothing? Not counterattack? Well I’m not going to sit idle and let them attack me?” Martinez said.
Results from Tuesday shows roughly 1500 votes separated the two candidates. It appears Martinez base is drawing seniors who remember when he served as mayor here for two decades.
“People can say many things but Hialeah was good when he was the Mayor.” Miguel Sierra, a Martinez supporter told CBS4’s David Sutta.
It’s clear Hernandez voters are hoping for something new. Juan Valladares has lived here since 1974. His reaction to another Martinez term?
“It’s too many years,” said Valladares. “He’s a rich guy.”
The votes to get will come from the third candidate Rudy Garcia. He lost and is now out of the race.
“Everybody who was voting for Rudy is going to go to Hernandez. I guarantee it,” said Valladares.
Both these candidates have two weeks to battle it out. The runoff is November 15th.
Will it be four years instead of four months for Hernandez or a tenth term for Raul Martinez?