Last night, Mayor Manuel Marono took a thin victory over candidate Marcos Villanueva in yesterday’s Sweetwater mayoral election. Marono won by just under a hundred votes.
By the end of his upcoming term, Marono will have served for more than sixteen years as Sweetwater's mayor. The three commissioners featured on his election signs took easy victories (two ran unopposed).
“I’m happy that I won,” Marono said by telephone today. “I’m not pleased with the results.” Villanueva, who could not be reached for comment, has not called or visited Marono to offer his congratulations. “I guess that just shows what kind of a person he is,” Marono said.
But the lack of back-patting is hardly surprising. Villanueva’s shoe-string campaign included allegations of massive mismanagement, corruption and fraud.
“It’s a little shameful that [Villanueva] dragged the city into the kind of mud-slinging he did,” Marono added. When asked what he was up to today, Marono seemed to shrug. “Working,” he said.
Larry Churchman, Villanueva’s chief organizer and a Sweetwater police officer, said he was sickened by the decision. Marono had his predecessor and mentor Jose Pepe Diaz greeting voters outside the polls on his behalf, he complained.
“We gave them a hell of a run,” he added. He plans to contest the election results. --Calvin Godfrey
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.