Which District 5 candidate is the best fit?
It may depend on how voters see the puzzle
D. Kevin McNeir | 9/26/2013, 9 a.m.
Miami Times: Given the size and various economic and ethnic divisions within District 5, is there any particular area in which you feel you have a solid base of supporters?
Colyer: I feel strong throughout the District and am known for my experience and professionalism in the private and public sector. The District is stronger when all members contribute and all sectors have a voice at the table — the table is big enough for all of us.
Dunn: I have a very solid base of support with seniors, in Model City and I will have the lion’s share of the clergy. In terms of racially- and ethnically-diverse communities, I am comfortable “in the streets” as well as “in the suites.”
Hardemon: I will continue to seek support throughout the entire District. My educational and professional background along with my work ethics should be appealing to Liberty City, Overtown and Little Haiti as well as to the residents in the Upper Eastside.
Malone: The diversity of the new District 5 is both a challenge and a chance and the winner will have to balance the needs and issues of the entire district: Black, Hispanic, white, poor, middle-class and rich. What I see is an opportunity to change the way things have been done in the past by being inclusive, responsive, accessible and accountable.
Miami Times: Spence-Jones has endorsed Hardemon for the race. Will that enhance/hinder your chances of being elected and what endorsements have you received?
Colyer: Keon is a nice young man who has a lot of potential; I’ve been serving in this community for over 25 years. I have the endorsement from the every day people who are tired of watching their community lose people to other areas because there is no sense of hope or of a future for our children. If the District wants the status quo with ‘special interests’ continuing to run things, then I am not their candidate.
Dunn: Just based on experience, community commitment and track record this is really a “no-brainer.” My endorsements include: the Laborers Union, SEIU, School Board Member Dr. Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall, County Commissioner Audrey Edmonson, City Commissioners Willy Gort and Marc Sarnoff and host of ministers.
Hardemon: Spence-Jones’s endorsement in this race will enhance my chance of being elected.
Malone: People make decisions to endorsement candidates for a myriad of reasons. I don’t feel that Spence-Jones’s endorsement of another candidate will hinder my campaign at all. I have the support of elected officials such as El Portal Village Mayor Daisy M. Black and Florida State Senator Dwight Bullard, to name a couple. In the end, each person has only one vote.
Miami Times: What is the major issue facing District 5 and how do you plan to address it?
Colyer: There are at least four major issues, all of which I would address in my first 100 days in office. We have seen what happens when we put folks in office because they are a good this or that — it’s time to chose someone that can manage a budget.
Dunn: One of the major issues facing our district is development — economic, social and educational. We need sustainable jobs which means they will stay around or increase. Sustainable jobs and economic development will help to alleviate crime and other blight.
Hardemon: Listening to the concerns and comments from the residents, clearly their major issues are opportunities for youth and crime. I am in support of community-based organizations whose mission is to provide services to children and youth and would seek support from local universities for professional and logistic support. Gun control, while not popular on the national level, would be a priority of mine on the local level.
Malone: There are however, commonalities such as public safety and quality of life issues that touch all corners of the district. More uniformed officers would inevitably reduce crime and help residents and businesses better enjoy our City.
Readers may be interested in attending the Miami-Dade Young Democrats District 5 Political Forum, scheduled for Wed., Oct. 16, 6 p.m., at Eros Lounge, 8201 Biscayne Blvd.