Category Archives: Miami

Voters’ Guide to the November 2020 Miami-Dade Ballot, Part I — The Easy Part

People have been emailing and DMing me asking for the downballot recommendations already. I’m glad to see that people who are voting by mail are taking seriously the suggestion that, given all the hiccups with the Postal Service, this is the year to get those ballots in the mail as early as possible – or maybe take them personally to a dropbox at an early voting center when those open up in less than two weeks.

Anyway, I’m flattered by the fact that people want this post badly enough to ask for it (and ask so nicely!) – so here goes the hors d’oeuvre. Main course tomorrow…

Top of the Ballot

You don’t–I hope–need me to tell you who to vote for in the upcoming Presidential election. Indeed I find it almost inconceivable that there are genuinely undecided voters left in America at this point. Their lives, whoever they are, are undoubtedly radically different from mine….

And I’d also guess that you don’t need me to tell you why a Democratic Congress is important, so I’ll spare you the many the reasons to vote for our incumbents, Donna Shalala (line 25) or Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (line 23) as the case may be. I’ll just say that as regards the 26th District, where Carlos Gimenez is the Republican candidate, please do keep in mind what a thoroughly bad Mayor he’s been for Miami-Dade, especially on COVID-related issues. That’s why I’m very much for Mucarsel-Powell despite what I consider a less-than-progressive voting record.

County Mayor

Similarly, I’d bet most people reading this don’t really need me to tell them who to vote for in the County Mayor race between Daniella Levine Cava and Esteban Bovo. But if you do, let me remind you, as I’ve said before , that Cava (line 81) is head and shoulders the best candidate; Bovo is, I’d argue, a strong contender for the worst County Commissioner we’ve had in a couple of decades – at least if you take out the thoroughly incompetent and thoroughly venal from the pool of contenders for the title. Bovo isn’t at all incompetent, which is why he’s dangerous, and he’s not thoroughly venal, but he’s an ideologue of exactly the kind who we don’t need to see us through pandemic recovery.

State Senate Dist 37 & State Rep. Dist 114

I should also say a few nice words about Javier Rodriguez (line 28), incumbent state Senator in district 37. He’s a hard worker, and a rising star in Florida – we’re lucky to have him for now.

And I’m voting for Jean-Pierre Bado (Line 45) for State Rep. I confess to knowing less about the State Rep race than I’d like – blame COVID? – but I voted for him in the primary, and he seems the better choice.

County Commissioner, District 7

This is a run-off between the two top vote-getters in the non-partisan primary. As I said in my discussion of the primary, I like Cindy Lerner for County Commissioner in District 7 (line 76):

Lerner is an accomplished former Mayor of Pinecrest. Regalado is an undistinguished but well-financed and media-savvy radio host and former School Board member from an important Miami political family (her dad was Mayor of Miami). ….

Regalado has a bad history. She made a lot of noise when she was on the School Board, but as far as I could tell, she didn’t accomplish much of anything other than PR. And as I’ve said before, “the real rap on Regalado has two parts: lack of competence (not numerate, not detail-oriented) and likely to sweep in her father’s cronies.”

I haven’t changed my mind on that one.

Downballot Recommendations

But what you probably really came here for is the true downballot: the other races, especially the Judicial retention elections, and the proposed amendments to the Florida Constitution and to the Miami-Dade Charter. I’m afraid you’ll have to wait for tomorrow’s post for those — here, however, in the mean time is one easy choice:

Clerk of Court

For clerk of the court, Harvey Rubin (line 56) continues to do a fine job. He actually has an opponent this year, which makes a change, but not one that matters much.

Next up, no later than late tomorrow afternoon: Judicial Retention Elections and State Constitutional Amendments

Update: Continue to Voters’ Guide to the November 2020 Miami-Dade Ballot, Part II: Judicial Retention Elections

Posted in 2020 Election, Miami, Politics: FL-25/FL-27 | 1 Comment

Election Aftermaths, Primary 2020

A few takeaways from yesterday’s local elections, in which many of my favored candidates lost:

  • KFR wins again and will continue on as State Attorney; Melba Peterson’s campaign was hamstrung by COVID limits on campaigning, and by a huge fundraising disadvantage that couldn’t overcome the name recognition deficit. One can only hope that our State Attorney feels a little bit more pressure to do something about abuses by police and Corrections, and–this is really too much to hope for–rampant campaign finance abuse in local politics.
  • The judicial elections once again provided ample support for the claim that women with Hispanic names tend to beat candidates who lack them. It used to be they beat Anglo men, now maybe they beat everyone non-Hispanic?
    • Unfortunately, this trend extended to the election of the utterly unqualified Rosy Aponte over the capable and experienced Dava Tunis.  It’s enough to make you question the divinity of the vox populi.
  • Another trend I’ve noticed is that judicial candidates with unusual names often do poorly.  (We lost Fleur Lobree that way a few years ago.) That can’t have helped Olanike “Nike” Adebayo, although Joe Perkins ran a well-funded and very very energetic campaign. He, at least, has the skills and smarts to be a judge; we’ll see about the temperament.
  • The November runoffs for County Mayor, and for the District 7 Commission seat will be the most partisan in recent memory and might well depend on how the headline Presidential election drives turnout.  The Mayoral candidates will be Bovo, who ran explicitly as a Trumpist, and Cava, who may not have explicitly run as a Democrat, but did implicitly and clearly was the Democratic Party’s favorite. Bovo’s strategy was well-calculated to get him into the runoff, but are there enough pro-Trump voters, or Cuban voters who’ll look past that, in Miami-Dade to carry him to the finish? I hope not.  He’d be awful. Similarly, in District 7, Cindy Lerner is endorsed by Democrats, and Rachel Regalado by Republicans — but Regalado didn’t wrap herself around Trump like Bovo did, which has to give her a better chance of winning.
Posted in 2020 Election, Miami | 2 Comments

I Voted

By mail, and the ballot was received. Allegedly it has been counted too. That doesn’t prove it actually will be counted, nor counted correctly, but then the same is true of an in-person ballot, alas.

If you registered for an absentee ballot, or have sent one in, you can check the status of you ballot at, which incidentally is the best use of the .miami TLD I’ve seen yet.

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The Most Important Election on the Aug 18 Miami-Dade Ballot

It’s not the Mayor’s race — it’s the State Attorney’s race.  And I think it’s essential to vote for change. Vote Melba Pearson. And here’s a reminder as to why:

I also have some other recommendations in my Miami-Dade Ballot Guide: Summary of Recommendations – Aug 18, 2020.

Note — If you are voting by mail, I’m told it would be a good idea to get that ballot in the mail no later than tomorrow due to the issues the Postal Service is having.

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Miami-Herald Endorsements in Local Judicial Races

The Herald is out with its endorsements in the local judicial races, and they sound almost exactly like mine, sometimes with the same reasoning.

The only interesting thing to me is that they pick Roderick Vereen over Carmen Cabarga in Group 57:

It’s that breadth of state and federal experience that makes him [Vereen] the more-solid candidate in this race. He ran for Congress in 2010 and for Miami-Dade State Attorney in 2012.

In his candidate interview, he spoke with a deeper knowledge of how judges can be unfair to defendants — in ways he would not. He says that he appreciates judges who ask lawyers from both the State Attorney and Public Defender offices to “get together before court and decide what will move forward, what will not, what’s continued. That way, Vereen says, they don’t have to give the judge a long explanation of their positions. It helps move things along, Vereen said. Otherwise, he said, “Families are waiting all day.”

We find him the more-seasoned candidate in this race.

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Miami-Dade Ballot Guide: Summary of Recommendations – Aug 18, 2020

State Attorney, 11th Circuit: Melba Peterson (line 24)
State Rep District 114 (Dem Primary): Jean-Pierre “JP” Bado (line 60)
Circuit Judge, Group 55: Olanike “Nike” Adebayo (line 310)
Circuit Judge, Group 57: No recommendation
Circuit Judge, Group 65: Thomas J. Rebull (line 315) [but see * & **]
Circuit Judge, Group 67: Mavel Ruiz (line 317)
Circuit Judge, Group 75: Dava J. Tunis (line 319)
County Judge, Group 9: Joseph J. Mansfield (line 320)
County Judge, Group 24: Christine Bandin (line 322)
County Commission, District 7: Cindy Lerner (line 343)
Miami-Dade County Mayor: Daniella Levine Cava (line 362)
Property Appraiser: Marisol Zenteno (line 367)

All contests are open to all voters except the State Rep primary.

See the reasons for these recommendations in my Miami-Dade Primary Day Ballot Recommendations 2020, Part I and Miami-Dade Primary Day Ballot Recommendations 2020, Part II (Judges).

(This will remained pinned to the front of the blog until Aug 19th.)

Posted in 2020 Election, Miami | Comments Off on Miami-Dade Ballot Guide: Summary of Recommendations – Aug 18, 2020