For more than a year, Miami-Dade school board member Raquel Regalado has been positioning herself as the antidote to the county's current mayor, Carlos Gimenez.
Regalado recently came out against Gimenez's multimillion-dollar bailout of the Frost Science Museum and chided commissioners for it: "What are we telling our kids if people do wrong and... we... just bail them out?" she said.
And last week, she won a lawsuit that challenged the use of public money for a 1,000-foot-tall Skyrise project next to Bayside that Gimenez had championed.
But I don't think Raquel Regalado — whose father is Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado — is really serious about challenging Gimenez. Word on the street is she's merely using this as a springboard for the city mayoral race in 2017. She wants to continue her family's political dynasty.
By railing against Gimenez, Regalado builds name recognition and sets herself apart from her father. This is vital preparation if she plans to jump into the Miami mayoral race, which will likely feature city Commissioners Frank Carollo and Francis Suarez, two other Cuban-Americans from well-known political families. Carollo's brother and Suarez's father are both former Miami mayors.
Regalado's chances of winning the county race are slim. She doesn't have enough campaign cash to match Gimenez's war chest. She has raised $631,560 between her campaign committee and Serving Miamians, an electioneering communications organization registered with the state's division of elections. Meanwhile, Gimenez's campaign and his PAC, Miami-Dade Residents First, have amassed $3.2 million.
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Plus, Gimenez has recently begun working to represent all of Miami-Dade and not just the rich communities. It will be very difficult to beat him. And though Regalado is an honorable, respectable person who has done some great things on the school board, it's questionable whether she can handle a government the size of Miami-Dade.
If Regalado is serious — as I was when I ran for county mayor in 2011 — she needs to diffuse all of this talk that she's aiming for her daddy's job.
Follow Luke on Twitter: @unclelukereal1.