Jan. 12 – Miami City Commission District 1 and District 5 Elections
Unfortunately, one of the ills of society that is highlighted by this blog is corruption. Since the focus is often on special elections, many times, these need to be called when the current holder of the seat in question is indicted or convicted of a crime.
Miami, stunningly, is a special case. Of the 5 members of the City Commission, its version of a city council, 2 were removed from office in the last month on corruption charges. Since one election needed a runoff in late November, the city commission was literally unable to proceed with votes because it only had two members.
In District 1, Angel Gonzalez resigned as he began his third term after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor for landing his daughter a no-show job through his connections with the city. In District 5, Governor Charlie Crist removed Comissioner Michelle Spence-Jones after she was indicted for allegedly illegally securing county grant funds for a family business.
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Voters in the neighborhoods of Allapattah, Little Havana and Flagami will choose from 9 candidates. On such short notice, the front runner is the well known Willie Gort, a former Commissioner. Also running are Eric Bodin, Mariano Cruz, Luis De La Cruz, Waldo Faura Jr., Miguel Gabela, Manuel Richardson, Mike Suarez and Richard Tapia.
In Miami’s poorest and most crime-riddled city commission district, voters will get to choose from 8 candidates. This district covers Overtown, Little Haiti and Liberty City.
One is very familiar as the woman removed from the office is running for the seat despite being under indictment for corruption. Michelle Spence Jones hope voters forgive easily. Of the seven running against her, the most prominent contender is the Reverend Richard Dunn who served as an interim Commissioner in 1996.
Joining them in the race are Yashica Brown-Rogne, David Chiverton, Robert Malone, Dufirstson Neree, Pierre Rutledge, Georges William and Erica Wright
It is hard to learn about all of these candidates, so I would be grateful for any information about them from Miami residents.