Runoff election scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 19th
D. Kevin McNeir | 11/13/2013, noon
Last Tuesday, 6, 525 votes were cast — that’s 16 percent — in the heated race for City of Miami commissioner. But it will be another week before we’ll know who will take the District 5 seat vacated by outgoing Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones. That’s because none of the four original candidates were able to pull in the majority vote needed to avoid a runoff. So brace yourselves for another seven days of campaigning.
The scene now shifts to the two frontrunners — Attorney Keon Hardemon, who shocked everyone but himself in receiving 45.82 percent of the vote (2,990) and the Rev. Richard Dunn, II who led earlier this year before a series of questions about campaign financing bogged him down. Dunn placed second in the general election with 22.21 percent (1,449), beating the next candidate, Jacqui Colyer, by only 44 votes. To her credit, Colyer, who didn’t enter the race until August, finished with 21.53 percent (1,405) while Dr. Robert Malone, Jr. came in last with 10.44 percent (681).
As one pollster said, Dunn raised more money and had the endorsements but was unable to perform when it counted. Dunn says it’s a brand new day now with the score 0-0. In a press conference held last week at Liberty City’s Hadley Park, Dunn announced changes in his strategy including a new campaign manager and a much-needed endorsement.
Colyer joins the Dunn team
“I am honored and humbled to have the support of Jacqui Colyer — a woman of brilliance, integrity and a
longstanding record of doing good for our community,” he said. “In the midst of participating in several debates, we wound up sitting next to each other and in conversations, discovered that we are very much alike in our views. She will be an integral part of our campaign and when we win, she’ll be an integral part of our team.”
Colyer said, “I’m pleased that there is a space and a place for me. I’ve come on board because we both realize how important it is to build bridges. This isn’t about me or about Richard Dunn — it’s about the people in District 5 and who can do the best job as commissioner. I’m running with Dunn and have on my sneakers because we cannot afford to keep doing business as usual.”
Dunn’s fate now rests in the hands of J.L. Castillo — a highly-regarded political operative who successfully ran the campaign of Miami-Dade County Commissioner Audrey Edmonson. Dunn’s son, Richard III, will also lead the election efforts as one of two campaign managers.
For Hardemon, slow and steady is key
Hardemon said he doesn’t plan to do anything significantly different in the runoff campaign. He was successful in his
early-voting and absentee-ballot campaign which gave him a solid lead going into the Tuesday voting. And that was enough, given the fact that of the District’s 40,513 registered voters, more than half of those who voted did so either early or through absentee ballots.