Local House Candidate Picks Up Key Rico Tubbs Endorsement

Today marked the official beginning of election season, with early voting kick-starting around Miami-Dade for the November 3 general elections, and here at Riptide we're feeling that democratic itch.

But, frankly, we're already looking forward to next August's statewide races. Why, you ask? Because the Miami Vice lobby just weighed in, and we live our lives by the eternal code of white linen and gigantic reflector shades.

None other than Det. Rico Tubbs -- also known in real life as Miami resident Philip Michael Thomas -- threw his political clout behind one of the candidates for the Kendall-area seat today.

Thomas is backing Whilly Bermudez, who owns a marketing firm and serves on the executive board of the Miami-Dade GOP. Bermudez tells Riptide he knows Thomas through some business associates.

"He's perfect because he's not some guy doing car wash commercials or anything like that," Bermudez explains. "He's a solid citizen and a respected guy."

Word to that. We respect the hell out of Detective Tubbs in these parts.

Whatever the reasoning, it looks like Bermudez can use any help he can get from Thomas. The actor will host a fundraiser November 14 at the Epic Hotel -- and Bermudez could use the cash.

There are already six other candidates who've thrown their hats into the ring to contest the seat being vacated by the term-limited Rep. Marcelo Llorente. Three of them already have a big money advantage over Bermudez.

Carlos Manrique, an administrator for Miami-Dade County Public Schools, already has $49,445 in the bank, and two other candidates have close to $20,000. Bermudez, so far, has cashed in only $5,640.

But there's a long way to go until next August, and perhaps the most important wild card still remains in play: the coveted Don Johnson endorsement. Who's it going to be, Crockett?

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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink