Best Disappearing Act (2006)

Former Hialeah Mayor Raul Martinez

For nearly a quarter-century Raul Martinez personified the City of Hialeah. La Ciudad que Progresa elected this giant-of-a-man mayor in 1981 after a one-term stint on the city council. A charming and combative hombre with bulldog jowls, Martinez proved that even a criminal conviction (eventually overturned by an appeals court) couldn't stop him from being re-elected. Last year, though, Hialeah's grand wizard decided it was time to retreat behind the curtain and relinquish the throne to protégé and City Council President Julio Robaina, who beat former state Sen. Roberto Casas in the 2005 election. But we're sure the don of Hialeah is only a phone call away when Robaina needs a little ayudita.


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