Luther Campbell Calls for Special Election

Mayoral candidate and Miami New Times columnist Luther Campbell wants to get it on. At the ballot box. Not the champagne room. Now that voters have shown Carlos Alvarez the exit door, the onetime raunchiest man in hip-hop is calling on the county commission to set a date for another special election to vote for a new mayor.

"The people have spoken," Campbell says. "Now it is time for the county commissioners to do their job and let the people speak again. It will be a travesty

if the county commission ignores the will of the people and appoints

a mayor."

Commissioners could opt to appoint a caretaker mayor until the 2012 county election, which is an idea that has been floating around county hall for weeks. The Miami Herald reported over the weekend that former Mayor Alex Penelas is one name rumored in the mix. But commission Chairman Joe Martinez might also be angling for the appointment. He announced his candidacy for mayor but said he wouldn't run until 2012. However, Martinez was overheard telling members of the Beacon Council, a taxpayer-subsidized business development nonprofit, that having an interim mayor wouldn't be a bad idea.

"He told them it would allow things to cool off," says a lobbyist who relayed the information to New Times. The same lobbyist says Penelas has definitely let it be known he is interested in coming back.

The county commission has 30 days from the date the votes are certified to appoint a mayor, as well as a new commissioner to replace Natacha Seijas, or set a special election for both seats. If there is a special election, the field would include Campbell, Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina, county Commissioner Carlos Gimenez, and quite possibly Alvarez, who told the Wall Street Journal he hasn't ruled out running again.

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Francisco Alvarado was born in Nicaragua and grew up in Miami, giving him unique insight into the Magic City and all its dark corners. An investigative reporter with a knack for uncovering corruption, Alvarado made his bones as a staff writer at Miami New Times and remains in dogged pursuit of the next juicy story.