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Miami-Dade’s Mayoral Race — Holding my nose

I am embarrassed to say that the recall of Miami Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez never got much of my attention. And when it came time to choose between 11 mayoral candidates to replace Alvarez, I was still feeling the same malaise. None of the candidates elicited any excitement for me, and to be completely honest, I cannot remember exactly who I voted for on May 24th. The only thing I recall is seriously entertaining the thought of voting for Luther Campbell, if only to indulge in a moment of irreverence.

I am ashamed to say that not much, if anything, has been mentioned here on Babalú regarding the race for mayor of Miami-Dade County. With so much happening in Cuba, in the country, and the world, we have paid scant attention to this important issue. I admit we have been remiss in covering this news, but that will change in the weeks leading up to the June 28th vote.

The election on May 24th resulted in a runoff between former mayor of Hialeah Julio Robaina, and former county commissioner Carlos Gimenez. Although I have never possessed any fondness for Robaina because of the close ties he once had with  Raul Martinez, the characters that are jumping up in support of Gimenez are beginning to make me nervous.

To Robaina's credit, he and his predecessor in Hialeah are no longer bosom buddies, and they are now apparently involved in a bitter feud. And to Gimenez' detriment, the characters who are jumping out of the shadows to endorse his candidacy are just as dubious as Raul Martinez.

Below is a scan of an email invitation that went out for a campaign fundraiser that took place last week in support of Carlos Gimenez' candidacy. Two of the individuals sponsoring this shindig are Joe Arriola and none other than Carlos Saladrigas. The Arriola family is very active with the Democratic party here in South Florida, and staunch supporters of the Obama administration. And Carlos Saladrigas -- well, we all know who Carlos Saladrigas is.

gimenezfundraiserFor those of you who live in Miami Dade County, this may or may not sound some warning bells. For me, however, it is deafening warning siren. Julio Robaina may not impress me, but the list of characters lining up behind Gimenez do impress me, in a very bad way.

On June 28th, I will have to hold my nose and place my vote. Not because neither of the candidates are worthy in my estimation, but because the stench from the endorsements one of them is receiving is unbearable.

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