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Political newcomers need some scrutiny

caines | 6/14/2012, 6 a.m.

Finally, we are seeing campaign signs with familiar names and faces going up everywhere.New contenders are beingshowcased and welcomed as well. However, we need to scrutinize their experience, record and their platform.Will their platform solve issues which are important to you?Democracy means participation by the many and if the candidate is backed by big businesses, they will be serving businesses and not the people. Several important races will take place in the August 2012 election and every vote will count.Miami Gardens Mayor Shirley Gibson is challenging incumbent Miami-Dade County Commissioner Barbara Jordan for the District 1 Commission seat. Defense Attorney Roderick Vereen has also thrown his hat in the race in an attempt to unseat Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Rundell.Even my favorite incumbent Congresswoman Fredericka Wilson, who has proven her support for this community time after time, is being challenged by Dr. Rudy Moise for FloridaCongressional District 24 seat.Fortunately for voters, most of these candidates come with years of experience and service to our community. Hopefully we will let that be the determining factor of who gets our vote. Before you go out and vote ask yourself among all the candidates that are running for office, who has best representedyour issues and the will of the people. Mama said it best when she sang, May the work Ive done speak for me. Several important races will take place in the August 2012 election and every vote will count.Miami Gardens Mayor Shirley Gibson is challenging incumbent Miami-Dade County Commissioner Barbara Jordan for the District 1 Commission seat. Hopefully the voters in Miami-Dade County are as motivated in August 2012 as they were during the Presidential Election in 2008. Votersmust do their homework on the candidates and question the candidates and their motives as to why they are running for a particular office. Remember things are a lot easier said than done. Unfortunately, people run for office for various reasons, some are self-serving and some are there to serve special interests. Voters throughout the Country exercised the power of their vote by going to the polls and making changes in 2011.Miami-Dade County voters excerised their rights and were successful in unseating former Strong Mayor Carlos Alvarez. Later that same year voters elected Miami-Dade Commissioner Carlos Gimenez as Mayor.What voters need to assess carefully is whether merely changing representatives make our County and our lives better. Things are a lot easier said than done. In 2012, many new people wereelected to serve with promises of job creation, but the opposite happened.Many people were laid off.Some of the newly elected made things worse such as the Governor of Wisconsin. Voters must keep in mind that our power lies in the voting booth. Check to make sure you can still vote as people are being purged from voters lists. Even if you are a registered voter and you do not exercise your right and vote, you are as powerless as those who cannot vote.So, please:Get out and vote.