Forget the Stadium. Joe Sanchez Just Won the Mayor's Job.

If you weren't paying attention to any news media in town yesterday, you might have missed that Miami commissioners voted 3 to 2 in favor of the new baseball stadium in Little Havana.

But even those who were watching probably failed to notice a salient fact: Joe Sanchez basically locked up his next job as Miami mayor. Not only was he the commission chairman for the vote, but the stadium will be built in his heavily Cuban and highly symbolic neighborhood of  Little Havana. The election doesn't come until November 3, but it's already over.

Sanchez, a former state trooper, has staked much of his campaign on support for

the stadium, though he has spoken a fair amount about neighborhoods and all that crap. The gamble paid off.

His opponent is the permanent contrarian, Tomas Regalado, a guy I've always liked who's almost certain to run out of gasoline


by election day. Regalado complained about county cops getting the nod to walk the beat at the stadium. a non-starter of an idea.

Both candidates are Cuban American, which is damn important in a Miami mayor's race -- and there is a long way to go until election day, as well as a county vote on the plan. But Sanchez won the heart of the Latin vote symbolically with his strong support of the stadium, and he's gonna win the head of both Hispanics and blacks -- who make up like 90 percent of the city population -- with the jobs that will be delivered to needy communities.

So Tomas, you might as well just give up now, cuz it's over. Whadda ya say we start a radio show together?


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