Don't line up that tag-team wrestling job just yet for Carlos Alvarez -- even if voters recall the county's strong mayor today, Alvarez says he's seriously thinking about running in the special election. Alvarez tells a Wall Street Journal reporter that if he's booted from office, rerunning for the seat is "something [he] would definitely consider."
Better get that new campaign up and running, Carlos. More than 72,000 absentees and just over 58,900 early votes have already poured in by this morning, Marie Bertot, a spokeswoman for the county elections department, tells Riptide.
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Bertot says early returns should start appearing online by 7:30 tonight. We'll keep you posted as they roll in.
In other recall-related news:
- Traffic was light at polling places around Miami-Dade today (maybe because so many early and absentee ballots were cast). Riptide stopped by a South Beach election site near Española Way this morning to cast our ballot -- we'll just let you guess how we voted -- and the place was empty except for volunteers munching on free cookies and reading spy novels.
- November candidates are already jumping on the anti-incumbency recall fervor. Dave Crystal, a tutoring business owner running for Miami Beach mayor, held a news conference this morning calling for Assistant City Manager Hilda Fernandez to get the ax over allegations she and other officials demanded free tickets from the New World Symphony.
- Norman Braman, the auto magnate who bankrolled the recall, has scheduled a conference at his midtown office for 9 p.m. to talk about the results. Braman is already looking beyond the recall, via a pact formed with Victor Diaz to push for a widespread charter change, including term limits, at-large districts, and new lobbying rules.