Tuesday, August 24, 2010 at 12:11 p.m.
Will Bill McCollum and Kendrick Meek hold back the two millionaire candidates? Will Miami
Mayor Tomas Regalado's blossoming political machine get his daughter a seat on the Miami-Dade School Board? Will Dorrin Rolle survive his scandalous year to win another term to the county commission? Will David Rivera overcome a brutal onslaught by his primary opponents to win the Republican nomination for U.S. Congress?
These questions and many more will be answered today as Miami-Dade voters go to the polls. After the jump, Banana Republican recaps the races to keep an eye on.
Bill McCollum versus Rick Scott: In the battle for who can be the most far right candidate for governor, recent polls show the state's attorney general surging past the multi-millionaire upstart. Both candidates have proposed enacting legislation that would mirror Arizona's controversial immigration law. The victor gets to take on Democrat and Florida Chief Finanical Officer Alex Sink in the November general election.
Kendrick Meek versus Jeff Greene: In what is shaping up to be the fight for third place in the U.S. Senate race, Carrie Meek's son and current congressman got a jolt from his appearances with Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama. Polls have him ahead of Greene, another multimillionaire dreaming of life in public office. Although the winner may not have enough juice left to overtake Reblican Marco Rubio and Independent Charlie Crist come November.
Miami-Dade School Board: When the polls close today, there will be three new board members, and possibly a fourth. Solomon Stinson, Agustin Barrera and Ana Rivas-Logan are retiring, stepping aside, and running for higher office, respectively. School Board administrator Ronda Vangates is the annointed front runner to replace Stinson, while Regalado's daughter Raquelita (who has no experience in education) is banking on her campaign war chest to beat out a field of educators. Meanwhile, Perla Tabares-Hantman's time on the school board could end since she is facing a formidable opponent in former principal Manny Diaz Jr.
Florida's 25 Congressional District: During the last two months, David Rivera has been completly ambushed by his opponents Marili Cancio and Paul Crespo, who have done a phenonomal job exposing the former state house budget commitee chairman's flaws from his cozy relationship with a local businessman who facilitates trade with Cuba to allegations he physically assaulted an ex-girlfriend. If Rivera emerges the victor, he will face Democratic wonder kid Joe Garcia in November.
County Commission District 2: Dogged by scandal and his destruction of the James E. Scott Association, Dorrin Rolle is in danger of losing his seat and perhaps breaking the unbeaten streak incumbent county commissioners have enjoyed since 1994. Look for candidate Jean Monestime, a former North Miami councilman, who could pull out the win, or at least force Rolle into a run-off.