While Dr. Smith Joseph won his bid for Mayor of North Miami without resorting to dirty campaigning, negative attack mailers helped North Bay Village incumbents stay in power after Tuesday’s election. Candidates Jorge Brito and Mario Garcia joined forces in an attempt to oust Mayor Connie Leon-Kreps and At-Large Commissioner Jorge Gonzalez from their seats.
After the challengers were targeted by three hit pieces, candidate Mario Garcia shot back with a mailer of his own aimed at his opponent. Jorge Gonzalez, in an obvious (and idiotic) knee-jerk reaction, then filed a Complaint for Defamation and a complaint with the Miami-Dade Ethics Commission. The Miami Herald reported, “Wednesday, a hearing examiner with the county’s Commission on Ethics and Public Trust found no probable cause. The lawsuit is still pending.”
Despite showing very little character to defame in the first place, Gonzalez won re-election by 151 of the 1,195 ballots cast in his race.
The race for the Mayor’s seat drew more interest as 1,276 voters chose between the incumbent and her opponent, with Leon-Kreps garnering 766 to Jorge Brito’s 510 votes.
As everyone knows, even under the best of conditions, it’s extremely difficult to unseat an incumbent. Once a politician holds office for even one term, name recognition always works in his or her favor when it come time to run for re-election. The voting public generally feels more comfortable with the devil they know rather than take a chance on an unknown, and potentially more devilish, commodity.
This is the only logical reason I can come up with to explain why Debbie Wasserman Schultz keeps getting re-elected despite the fact that she is the perfect example of why we need term limits in Congress. But, I digress.
Jorge Brito and Mario Garcia were well aware of the uphill battle they had before them, yet chose to give it their best efforts anyway. Despite their desire to serve the residents of North Bay Village, both stated that they are done running for public office. This is a real shame, as it appears they would have provided some much needed change to a small city long afflicted with big problems. Voter apathy didn’t help their cause, either. Even with the Governor’s race and several highly publicized Constitutional Amendments on the ballot, voter turnout for all of Miami-Dade County was only 40.78%. North Bay Village’s turnout was slightly higher at 41.38%.
SOAPBOX RANT OF THE DAY: Why do you go through the trouble of registering to vote when more than half of you stay home on election day? WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE ANYWAY?
Okay, rant over.
As courageous as Brito and Garcia were to run against the incumbents, the one person who really put himself out there is Commissioner Richard Chervony. He openly campaigned against his own colleagues on the dais. They can, and probably will, make his life miserable for the rest of his term.
North Bay Village’s election may be over, but it gave me the opportunity to meet Jorge Brito and Mario Garcia at the Election Night Results Watch Party, which NBV blogger Kevin Vericker graciously invited me to attend. Even though early on it appeared that the numbers weren’t in their favor, both gentlemen took their eventual losses in stride and told me they were grateful for the opportunity to participate in the process. I applaud them for their efforts.
I also had the pleasure of meeting Richard Chervony, into whose city politics I have obviously insinuated myself by chastising him for doing the exact same thing – butting into the politics of my former city, North Miami Beach.
Yep, I guess we’re both yentas. We can’t help ourselves.
As it turns out, Richard is not the Village Idiot after all! That honor definitely belongs to Commissioner Jorge Gonzalez.
Mazel Tov, Jorge! Here’s a sticker for you:
I do, however, look forward to reading Kevin Vericker’s future blog posts about all the NBV insanity. You need to check out his post-election blog by clicking here: Blue Skies, Smiling At Me.
Smile on, Kevin. Smile on.
“Spreading the Wealth”