Loser Gimenez, Loses Election (Again)

Political Cortadito:

Winners and losers in special District 5 county race not just the obvious

By Ladra

The obvious winners and losers in the special shotgun wedding District 5 county commission race, besides candidates Eileen Higgins (winner) and Zoraida Barreiro (loser), are the political parties: The Miami-Dade Democratic Party (winner) and the Republican Party of Miami-Dade (loser). We’ve said it all along and it’s no surprise so we’re not including them in the list.

Yes, it’s time for the list.

As always, there are other people, groups and institutions that we can say have gained or lost from this particular election — especially those who were heavily invested, whether emotionally or financially. It happens in every race. And in this race, in particular, there are people along the fray who got burned and people behind the scenes who need to be exposed.
As is now tradition, Political Cortadito’s winners and losers for the Miami-Dade District 5 race are:


Bruno Barreiro — Talk about messing up. Bruno Barreiro, who resigned this seat for a congressional race he will now never win, could have stayed on the commission through November, which is what he’d do if there were a time machine available. He resigned abruptly like that thinking that it would give his wife the advantage in a special election. He didn’t realize it would turn into this partisan battle. He should already start thinking about what he’s going to do in September.

Carlos Gimenez — The county mayor endorsed Barreiro and really hoped she would eke it out.  She’s controllable for his last two years, which can now be a little rocky if Higgins pans out the way many of us hope. He may have to work a little harder and answer some real questions. He won’t have a pocket vote for whatever he wants, that’s pretty likely. And worst of all, he may not get another no-bid contract for someone on his friends and family plan.

Nelson Diaz — Yes, we said we wouldn’t list the local GOP but the chairman is another matter entirely. This is not his first loss. Diaz had just been made chair when Levine Cava was elected. You would think he might learn. Even though he couldn’t get involved in the primary, because there were two other Republicans in the running, he was slow to get the party involved in the runoff — and even then only did it halfway. Marco Rubio‘s robocall was weeks late.


Joe Carollo — What? Why? Ladra is off her rocker? Nope. While its been almost a year since the city commissioner beat Zoraida Barreiro for his seat, he certainly didn’t wish her success! Even if he wasn’t certain the Barreiros helped Alfie Leon in the city commission runoff after Zori was left out, nobody does a grudge like Joe Carollo.  It’s only all the more gratifying to him that his brother Frank Carollo was Barreiro’s political consultant.

Xavier Suarez — Not only did the Miami-Dade commissioner in adjoining District 7 endorse and campaign for Higgins in the city where his son is mayor, giving his nod more street cred, he is also one step closer to that chairmanship he’s always wanted and which would make a nice treat right before he heads into a mayoral contest with the current commission chair, Esteban “Stevie” Bovo. Or maybe this is just the first step in the Suarez power consolidation plan (more on that later).

Maria Elvira Salazar — Needless to say, you will find Bruno Barreiro in the losers list. His congressional campaign is all but toast. I mean, how can anyone (read: donors) believe he can get it done now, when he couldn’t even get deliver for his wife against a nobody who doesn’t speak that much Spanish in a district where more than 70 percent of the voters do? This is the single biggest boost to Maria Elvira’s campaign since she announced. It is now a race between her and sleeper candidate Angie Chirino.

Christian Ulvert — Who else is getting sick of seeing this guy’s name in this column?  He’s already cocky AF, he’s going to be unbearable today. Ulvert took time off from the high profile gubernatorial campaign of former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine to help Eileen. So everybody vote Gwen Graham or Andrew Gillum because otherwise we will have a monster on our hands.

Underdog candidates — Okay, so the party assistance is nice if you can get it, but this Higgins upset election still shows that even an entrenched establishment incumbent — and Barreiro was a defacto incumbent — can be unseated by someone relatively new to the scene with enough gumption and social. And it’s gonna be a boost to some of the first time candidates on the ballot this year (more on that later) as well as underdogs in larger seat races. It could help them raise money. It could help them get volunteers. At the very least, it should give them a little kick in their step for the next couple of weeks.


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