Runoff Election: April 27, 7 am 7 pm (at your precinct)
Early Voting: April 24 and April 25, 7 am – 7 pm, at the Coral Gables Library on Segovia
VBM: There will be vote by mail ballots available, but given the tight turnaround and the laggard USPS, I’d urge voting in person or using the drop box at early voting.
Additional Info: https://www.coralgables.com/elections
As most expected, Lago beat Keon handily. If anyone cared about the story that Lago signed a letter opposing the anti-racist curriculum at Carrollton, either the news came too late, or the people who thought it mattered were already voting for Keon.
Since Election Day, the Herald most helpfully printed another story indicating Lago’s shaky understanding of his own conservatism, by reporting on his actually-not-secret refusal to go along with the symbolic anti-racist gesture of renaming “Dixie Highway” as “Harriet Tubman Highway,” thus making sure that Coral Gables forces the whole county to honor the Confederacy just a little bit longer.
Now the Herald has called him to do something about it. We’ll see how motivated he is considering that voters keep giving his racism a pass, even if the Herald belatedly does not.
Notably, even Lago’s great supporter Elaine de Valle at the Political Cortadito has soured a bit on him. So, off to a good start, culturally republican nice guy.
I guess the other obvious point here is Keon’s flaws as a candidate. As we have learned in other recent elections (cf. the extremely on-the-ball Cindy Lerner who is sadly not on the county commission right now) for a woman politician, having the reputation of being cranky with constituents is basically the kiss of death.
This was arguably a bigger problem for Keon than her irrational enthusiasm for high-rise development.
The sexism here is glaring of course. There are plenty of male assholes in local government. But, by the same token, it may be time for local dems to consider encouraging candidates for local office who aren’t grouchy white grandmas. The R’s appear to have a deep bench of public-spirited folk in their 30s and 40s with polished interpersonal skills. The dems, not so much apparently.
Both commission seats will be decided in runoff elections at the end of the month. The good news here is that the most worrisome relatives-of-prominent-republicans, Tania Cruz-Giminez (group II) and Alex Bucelo (group III), lost, leaving the four good-to-relatively-palatable candidates, Anderson, Valdes-Fauli, Baños and Menendez, to fight it out.
Commission Group II:
Anderson did extremely well in this crowded field and Valdés-Fauli underperformed. I suspect JVF’s problem is that liberal-progressive types like Anderson and are tired of his brother, current Mayor Raúl Valdés-Fauli, or just can’t tell them apart. Traditionalists who like RVF aren’t that jazzed by the gay JVF. Plus Anderson put in the door-knocking work and, perhaps most crucially, was endorsed by the Herald.
I’ll still vote for José Valdés-Fauli in the runoff, because I appreciate the clarity of his criticisms of the way the city is currently run. But Anderson will likely win and do a good job, and, with Keon’s loss, she would be the only woman elected to city government if she did.
Commission Group III
Menendez and Baños split the votes much more evenly than Anderson and Valdes-Fauli. The losing candidates—all republicans—immediately snapped into formation behind Menendez, making it ever more clear that Baños is the choice for dems.