Colyer surprises voters in final District 5 forum

Reveals an unseen passion in her quest for the commission

D. Kevin McNeir | 10/30/2013, 1:03 p.m. | Updated on 10/30/2013, 1:03 p.m.

On Tuesday evening, the Hadley Park Homeowners Association sponsored a forum — or debate depending on whom you ask — with the four candidates vying for the City of Miami District 5 commission seat. This time next week, Michelle Spence-Jones will have to give up her place on the dais as either Keon Hardemon, Dr. Robert Malone, Jr., Rev. Richard Dunn II or Jacqui Colyer replaces her — assuming they can come up with 50 percent plus one of the total votes cast. If not the top two vote-getters will go to a run-off election.

Colyer presented a very different face and presentation at Tuesday night’s debate — something that her supporters say they have been expecting for sometime. She was on point in terms of her responses and did not allow her three male candidates to overshadow her. In fact, she was actually aggressive and concise. From this writer’s perspective, Colyer emerged victorious.

On another note, there were several moments of discord that caused the moderator, Gigi Tinsley, to have to call for order and to remind the candidates and audience the rules established at the start of the forum. Supporters were sometimes exuberant when their candidate spoke — but at other times they were downright disrespectful. It’s clear that winning this seat matters — to each of the candidates and their supporters.

In one meltdown after closing remarks, local grassroots activist Renita Holmes went on a tirade against Dunn. The outburst allegedly has more to do with issues between the two, but we were disappointed to see such an attack. For his part, Dunn remained as calm as one would have hoped.

On to the election. But with voter turnout so low during the early voting period, it remains to be seen whether people will actually go to the polls and vote.