August 18 Election Guide

Action items:

Confirm or update your voter registration here.

If you are not yet registered to vote by mail, please sign up here and now.  Ballots began going out in mid-July and can be requested as late as August 8.  You’ll need that insurance given the high Covid-19 infection rates in Miami-Dade right now.  You can still vote in person (if it is safe) even if you have received a mail-in ballot, so nothing is lost by registering.

When you fill in your Vote-By-Mail ballot, make extra certain to fill out and sign the back of the ballot envelope.  Lack of signature is the main reason ballots are disqualified.

You can track your ballot electronically to make sure it is not lost or disqualified for any reason.

And, for the love of God, fill out your census form.


Election Overview

The August 18 elections combine a party primary and a “universal primary.” The party primary is a basic non-presidential primary election in which registered democrats choose candidates for the November 3 general election in specific races.  The universal primary either narrows the field to the top two candidates for municipal offices (which are officially non-partisan) or elects any candidate who earns a simple (50+1) majority.

Not Appearing on the August Ballot

Unopposed Party Candidates: Note that some of our current democratic elected officials are not facing primary challenges and thus will appear only on the November 3 ballot, including FL-27 US Representative Donna Shalala, and District 37 State Senator José Javier Rodriguez.

Even District Commissioners: Also note that county commissioners serve staggered terms.  This year “odd” commissioners in districts 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, and 13 are on the ballot.  We are in commission district 6. Our commissioner, Rebecca Sosa, was elected to her final term-limited four-year term in 2018.


August Contests in Ballot Order

State Attorney (primary decides the winner)

Katherine Fernandez Rundle vs. Melba V. Pearson

Recommend: Pearson

Former county prosecutor and deputy director of ACLU Florida. Advocates abolition of cash bail and police accountability. Endorsed by NOW, Blue Wave Coalition,  and Miami-Dade LGBTA Democrats. The Miami-Dade Democratic party has called on Fernandez Rundle (also a registered democrat) to step aside for Pearson.

District 114 State Representative (Running to replace Javier Fernandez, who is now running for State Senate in District 39)

Jean-Pierre Bado v.   Sue “Susi” Loyzelle

Recommend:  Bado

47-year-old Army Vet. Attorney running for his first office. SEIU and Blue Wave Coalition Endorsed.  Key issues: green energy, sea level rise, gun control.

DEC Representative District 24 (primary decides the winner)

Shed Boren vs. Anthony Petisco

Recommend: Boren

55-year-old social worker and public health professor. Former president of the Coral Gables Democratic Club.

Circuit Judge, Group 55 (primary decides the winner)

Joe Perkins v. Olanike “Nike” Adebayo

Recommend: Adebayo

47-year-old attorney, with extensive jury trial experience.  Currently works in the Office of Criminal Conflict and Civil Regional Counsel in Miami. Endorsed by The Miami Herald, SoFL AFL-CIO, Florida League of Prosecutors, United Faculty of Miami-Dade College, EMGAGE PAC, and co-endorsed with her opponent by SAVE. Deemed “qualified” or “highly qualified” by 90% of attorneys polled by the Dade County Bar Association. 

Circuit Judge, Group 57 (primary decides the winner)

Carmen Carbaga vs. Roderick Vereen

Recommend: Vereen

58-year-old litigator at the Law Office of Roderick D. Vereen. Endorsed by SAVE and The Miami Herald.

Circuit Judge Group 65 (primary decides the winner)

Denise Martinez-Scanziani vs. Thomas J. Rebull

Recommend: Martinez-Scanziani

SAVE-endorsed challenger.

Circuit Judge Group 67 (primary decides the winner)

Marcia Girodano Hansen vs. Mavel Ruiz

Recommend: Ruiz

SAVE-endorsed incumbent. Endorsed by The Miami Herald, SoFL AFL-CIO, Florida League of Prosecutors, United Faculty of Miami-Dade College, EMGAGE PAC, County Public Defender Carlos Martinez.

Circuit Judge Group 75 (primary decides the winner)

Rosy Anette Aponte vs. Dava J. Tunis

Recommend: Tunis

Miami Herald and SAVE-endorsed incumbent.

County Judge Group 9 (primary decides the winner)

Joseph Mansfield vs. Miguel Mirabal

Recommend: Mansfield*

*Difficult choice.  Mansfield is a well-regarded sitting judge but also a member of the right wing Federalist Society.  Challenger Mirabal is SAVE-endorsed, but a registered Republican with limited trial experience. 37 percent of attorneys polled by the Dade County Bar Association deemed Mirabal “unqualified.” The Herald endorses Mansfield.

County Judge Group 24 (primary decides the winner)

Christine Bandín vs. Shaun Spector

Recommend: Bandín

Miami Herald, SAVE and AFL-CIO-endorsed incumbent

Miami-Dade County Mayor (either 50+1 or narrow the field) (Running to replace Carlos Gimenez, who is term-limited and running for congress in FL- 26 against Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell).

Monique Nicole Barley

Esteban Bovo

Daniella Levine Cava

Ludmilla Domond

Alexander “Alex” Penelas

Xavier L. Suarez

Recommend: Levine Cava

64-year-old attorney, social worker, and County Commissioner for District 8.  Founder of Catalyst Miami. Endorsed by The Miami Herald, New Florida Majority, The Blue Wave Coalition of Miami-Dade, Sierra Club, SEIU, Planned Parenthood, Equality Florida.  Strong Environmental chops and best social justice record and vision in the field.

Property Board Appraiser (primary decides the winner)

Pedro J. Garcia vs. Marisol Zenteno

Recommend: Zenteno

53-year-old current employee of the County Appraiser’s Office. Previous chair of Miami-Dade County Commission on Human Rights, past president of the League of Women Voters of Miami-Dade, past president, and member of American Society for Public Administration (ASPA).  Endorsed by The Miami Herald, Blue Wave Coalition of Miami-Dade, Miami-Dade Democratic Executive Committee.




    1. This is a precinct-specific list (north Gables precinct 644) , not city or county wide. This is an odd county district year, so there are no district 4 candidates. Judicial endorsements come form studying the news and talking to lawyers. I am not a lawyer or judge so not a qualified peer-reviewer.


    1. She is actually not endorsed in this link if you read what you shared. SAVE endorsed both candidates in this race so the anti-LGBT label does not stick.


  1. I see, so SAVE approves both candidates, she then gets approved by the anti-women/lgbt group, he goes and gets approved by the feminist group, but all that matters is SAVE. Look at the timing.


  2. Sorry but I’m going to have to go before whoever wins so absolutely not speaking publicly. And not trying to change your mind. Women’s rights / choice / LGBTQA & trans rights are the most important thing to me so I know how I am voting.


    1. OK I see. I you want to say more, I’m at my first name dot my last name at gmail. Since SAVE is screening for LGBT support, I’m inclined to believe them. Do you believe that Adebayo intentionally sought both both pro-LGBT and anti-LGBT support?


  3. Much appreciated overall. I couldn’t find a recommendation list for these judicial races so I tirelessly checked every name. Often it requires going back many cycles to identify connections and priorities and partisanship. I was almost finished when Googling one name led to your site. I was pleased to note I agreed with virtually everything. However I agree with Justice Defender that the Adebayo call was a surprise. I had Perkins as fairly clear cut.

    No chance I’m voting for either Mansfield or Mirabal

    Thanks again. I’ll bookmark toward November


    1. I’d love to hear more about your reasoning. I just watched to the two of them at Gwen S. Cherry Black Women Lawyers Association forum and her superior experience and qualifications were glaringly clear.


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