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Robert Malone, Jr. kicks off bid for city commissioner

D. Kevin McNeir | 7/24/2013, 3:23 p.m. | Updated on 7/24/2013, 3:23 p.m.

— Miami native Dr. Robert Malone, Jr., 45, knows something about running a political campaign, having run and lost in a bid for District 109 state representative and then falling short in a nine-man race for City of Miami commissioner. Now he hopes that the third time will be the charm as he kicked off his campaign earlier this week for another run at the city commission. He says that while other potential candidates are hedging their bets and waiting for a three judge panel in the Third District Court of Appeal to rule on whether Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones can run for another term, Malone says he cannot afford to wait any longer. It’s believed that a ruling will be rendered in the coming days. “I don’t have the endorsement of lobbyists and developers but I do have a cadre of ordinary citizens that are looking for someone that will help to reduce crime, improve services that are reflective of rises in taxes, that can bring opportunities to District 5's huge number of unemployed men and women and that can be held accountable given the long legacy of debt incurred by the City and bad policy decisions made by previous commissioners” he said. “I think I’m unique in that I don’t bring a lot of baggage with me. As the president of the Hadley Park Homeowners Association, I have come to understand the needs of people on the Upper Eastside, in Liberty City and in Overtown. And I want to implement change in their behalf.” Malone, a graduate of Miami Edison where he was a star basketball player, has degrees from the University of Florida, Florida State University and Ph.D. in Education from Florida A&M University [FAMU] . A former legislative aide for Senator Larcenia Bullard, Malone has worked as a counselor at the Belafonte Tacolcy Center, a college recruiter for FAMU and most recently as an intervention specialist for M-DC public schools. In that role, which ended last June, he worked with Black and Latino freshmen at Miami Northwestern and Miami Jackson Senior High Schools in their "Freshman Experience Program." What does he need to win? Decent voter turnout, he says. “The City of Miami mayor’s race will draw some people to the polls and that’s good news,” he said. “There are about 40,000 registered voters in District 5 and we’re hitting every community. Midterm elections are known for poor voter turnout. But we hope to energize voters.”