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After 11 years away from elected office, Luis Morse is ready for a comeback. The 69-year-old Bay of Pigs veteran is one of seven contenders looking to take the Miami City Commission seat vacated by Joe Sanchez, who is running for mayor. From 1984 to 1998, Morse held sway in Tallahassee as one of the first Cuban-American state legislators. "I bring experience and a record of accomplishments," Morse says. "And I have an unblemished record. I've never been part of a scandal."
Indeed, during his time as a house representative from Hialeah, Morse helped bring millions of state dollars to clean up the Miami River. However, as an elected official, the Havana-born civil engineer did support some controversial matters. In 1995, Morse proposed using Miami tourism taxes to pay for ad campaigns denouncing tourism in Cuba.
And in 1997, he voted for a bill that erased tougher building code rules Miami-Dade County had enacted to reduce shoddy home construction exposed after Hurricane Andrew.
Morse could not recall specifically why he supported these items, but he insisted he always voted for what he believed was right for the citizens of Miami. As city commissioner, he promises to use his relationships with state and federal lawmakers to bring the Magic City money for capital improvements. "Miami needs to look for more sources of funding," he says.