Now that North Miami Mayor Lucie Tondreau has left the building, Article III, Section 15 of the City’s Charter states, “If the office of a councilmember becomes vacant on or before the councilmember has served one half of his or her term plus one day, a regular or special election shall be held within sixty (60) days to fill the vacancy for the balance of the term.”
Since Tondreau was elected on June 4, 2013 and sworn in as Mayor on June 11, 2013, she had still not served half of her two-year term by the time she was suspended from office on May 20, 2014. At the last meeting, the North Miami City Council decided to hold a special election to take place most likely on August 26, 2014 to coincide with the primary election.
According to a political consultant familiar with North Miami politics, at least five individuals are gearing up to win Lucie’s vacated seat and finish her term.
There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Kevin Burns will probably be the first in line to file. In fact, he’s even hoping to put the kibosh on a special election altogether by using his residency lawsuit (remember that?) as proof that “the office of the mayor is not vacant and that the entitlement to the office is also in dispute.” On Wednesday, May 21, 2014 before the ink on Tondreau’s suspension by the Governor was dry, Burns filed a new motion “to expedite ruling in a complaint he filed last June” challenging the her residency qualifications. The Circuit Court Judge originally ruled against him, which ruling he appealed. The appellate court then kicked it back down to the lower court, which has still yet to rehear the case.* Barring a decision by the Eleventh Judicial Circuit to nullify the 2013 election results (which doesn’t seem likely at this point), Burns is expected to throw his hat in the ring. (*Correction: The Third Judicial Court of Appeals has not yet rendered its opinion; therefore, it appears that Burns filed his motion with the appellate court and not the Eleventh Judicial Circuit.)
Considering that Dr. Smith Joseph spent over $212K on his bid for Mayor ($180,000.00 of which out of his own pocket), then demanded a recount claiming that 746 absentee ballots were missing after he came in third, chances are he’s not about to give up now that he can almost taste victory since he’s generally considered to be the frontrunner by political insiders.
Another 2013 mayoral also-ran, who got punched in the mouth for his efforts, Jean Rodrigue Marcellus is expected to try again. He stepped down from a safe seat on the council to come in fifth out of seven contenders in the general election. Apparently that wasn’t an epic enough fail to keep him from trying again. Can you say “glutton for punishment?”
Also thinking of stepping down from her safe seat to run for mayor is current Councilwoman Marie Steril. The Marie Antoinette of North Miami wants to step it up and bring her own special brand of ethical depravity to the head of the dais. She told the Miami Herald that she “would consider it.” Because North Miami hasn’t had nearly enough of its share of corrupt mayors already.
A dark horse contender in this potentially crowded race is rumored to be none other than State Representative Daphne Campbell, whose career highlight was dodging reporters after a medicare fraud scandal broke in July of 2011 while histrionically laughing, “Ooooh, I’m a celebrity!”
My source wrote, “State Rep. Daphne Campbell may run and combine her state house campaign with the mayoral one.”
I’m not sure if that’s even legal. Then again, when have silly little things like laws ever stopped career politicians from doing whatever the hell they want?
That’s why Ben Kuehne has a job.
In the interest of public service … and yeah, because I’m a yenta … I prepared a straw poll using the handy-dandy Survey Monkey. Here’s your chance to voice your opinion about who you think will most likely win the North Miami special election in August.
Simply click this link and choose one of the above possible candidates, or write in a name of your own choosing:
I’ll publish the results by Monday night.
“Spreading the Wealth”