Luther Campbell is in the mayor's race. Now he just needs to settle on a campaign slogan. The high school football assistant coach and Miami New Times columnist was officially accepted by the Miami-Dade Elections Department as a candidate for county mayor.
Campbell joins a field that includes former county Commissioner José "Pepe"
Cancio, ex-Miami-Dade transit director Roosevelt Bradley, and former
state Rep. Marcelo Llorente. Expected to file by today's 5 p.m.
qualifying deadline are Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina and county
Commissioner Carlos Gimenez.
And to show we believe in Campbell's candidacy, New Times has taken the
unprecedented step of helping Campbell make it official by paying his
$300 filing fee.
Earlier this morning, Campbell was the guest speaker at the long-running political gathering at David's Cafe II in Miami Beach. The standing-room-only crowd included television reporters Glenna Milberg and (former New Times columnist) Jim DeFede.
Dressed in a gray two-piece suit, purple dress shirt, and no tie, 2 Live Crew's ex-frontman introduced himself as a longtime businessman who helped put Miami-Dade County on the map. "Running a record company, Luke Records, for over 25 years, we put a lot of people to work," Campbell said. "That is what my candidacy is about: putting people to work. I know we have a lot of challenges. I am a fighter. I fought for free speech all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. And I fight for my community."
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A white-haired man in a short-sleeve red dress shirt, suspenders, and a tie asked Campbell if he had attended a county commission meeting in the past year: "No, I have not," Campbell said. "Is there anybody in here -- really, let's be honest -- that wants to sit through that?"
The crowd laughed at the retort. "I TiVo it and I look at it," Campbell explained. "I call it a Banana Republic, and I am serious about it. The commissioners make their own rules as they go... they just do what they want to do... They have no respect for the people."