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Hardemon to face Dunn in District 5 runoff

Liberty City attorney beats out former frontrunner by 2-to-1 marginIt was an easy run for Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado, City of Miami Commissioner Frank Carollo, Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernandez and the J

D. Kevin McNeir | 11/6/2013, 3:56 p.m.
It was an easy run for Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado, City of Miami Commissioner Frank Carollo, Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernandez ...

It was an easy run for Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado, City of Miami Commissioner Frank Carollo, Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernandez and the Jackson Health System $830M bond issue — all of whom cruised to resounding victories in last Tuesday’s election. The race for Homestead mayor went down to the wire before Jeffrey Porter was able to pull away from Mark Bell with 55.15 percent of the vote. And it’s still unclear whether Philip Levine reached the 50.5 percent of the vote needed to win the mayorship for the City of Miami Beach —although he was just within reach. However, once provisional ballots are counted and the results certified, we’ll know whether Levine will or will not need to move on to a runoff election against Michael Gongora who came in second with 36 percent.

But the big news in the election was the wide margin of victory for Keon Hardemon — a Miami-Dade assistant public defender — who in the race for City of Miami District 5 commissioner almost doubled the amount of votes that were garnered by the former frontrunner, the Reverend Richard P. Dunn, II. Hardemon took the top position with 2,990 or 45.82 percent, followed by Dunn with 1,449 or 22.21 percent. Jacqui Colyer came in third with 1,405 or 21.53 percent. Assuming that the final numbers show that Colyer and Dunn were separated by less than a half a percentage point, the vote will automatically go to a recount. Coming in the fourth and final position was Dr. Robert Malone, Jr. with 681 votes or 10.44 percent.

Because no candidate was able to come up with the required 50.5 percent, the race will go to a runoff election and is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 19th. The City does not have early voting for runoff elections. However, voters who request an absentee ballot between now and Nov. 13 can vote from home. (To request an absentee ballot, call 3-1-1).

Hardemon was clearly happy to pull off the upset and shared his views with us.

“It was a blessing to see the numbers come in like they did but I wouldn’t exactly call it a surprise,” he said. “My expectation was to do well and I think the numbers were reflective of how the community has embraced me and my plans for the City of Miami District 5. We managed our budget effectively and made each dollar count — doing a planned radio blitz last weekend right before the voters went to the polls on Tuesday. Now with a runoff, there’s still a lot of hard work ahead of us and because Richard Dunn is a stakeholder in the community, we aren’t taking anything for granted.”

Neither Colyer, Dunn or Malone were available for comment.