Below I offer an account of the debate among the three candidates for Mayor in Coral Gables held on Tuesday at the Cosford Cinema. Yesterday I posted Coral Gables Candidate Debate: Part 1 – Commission Group 4 and Group 5 (Updated). Since then there has been writing about the debate elsewhere, notably George Volsky’s dyspeptic but not unfair critique of the format in the Coral Gables Gazette, Chamber’s Election ‘Forum’ A Bust. Candidates were limited to tiny short answers about complex subjects, were not actually allowed to engage each other (thus, it’s not really a ‘debate’ at all), and the questions were somewhat limited in range.
Before the debate I had not been paying as much attention to the Mayor’s race as to the Commission Group 4. One reason was that, as I have written before, I think the incumbent, Don Slesnick, has done an OK job. (I know many others disagree, but that’s how I feel.) So I went in willing to be persuaded someone else was better, but not feeling that I had to have a change. I was willing to listen to challengers James Cason and Thomas Korge, but I was feeling skeptical. For all its faults, which were numerous, I thought the debate told me something useful about each of the three candidates. I left leaning fairly strongly towards one of them.