| November 4, 2009 | 2:47pm
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This we know for sure: Michael Gongora's name will be on the ballot for the Miami Beach runoff election for the Group III Commission seat on Nov 17th. His opponent isn't quite clear.
In the three way election, Gongora came out with the most votes, but because he didn't come close to receiving 50 percent, he'll face a runoff. The other two candidates -- Alex Fernandez and Gabrielle Redfern -- are currently only 17 votes apart, with Redfern in the lead.
Gongora was first elected to the Commission in 2006, even though (or perhaps thanks to, this being Miami Beach and all) an anonymous flyer went out describing him as a "liberal homosexual in the style of Mark Foley." Then a scandal involving a lawyer from his firm representing a client in front of the design board cost him re-election in 2008. 2009 see's him come closer to returning to the board, despite a flyer that went out portraying him as a drunk driving Godzilla paid for by shameless Broward political attack dog Russ Oster. Gongora did have a few DUIs, but that was back when he was a young liberal Godzilla in the style of Lindsay Lohan he says.
Meanwhile you've got Fernandez, another openly gay candidate, who's only 23 years old. He's personally partnered up with a much older condo developer, and an ethics complaint
was filed alleging a $100k+ loan he made to his own campaign was actually from his Partner's pockets (which wouldn't be an issue if we had gay marriage now would it? So, whatever, who cares? How people can be upset about that, and not care about Katharine Cue in Hialeah is a mystery to me). Fernandez said he earned the money from a defunct media company that marketed his boyfriend's properties.
Then you have Redfern, a property manager and transit activist, who basically hasn't been campaigning because she's been caring for her daughter who's in the hospital with Crohn's Disease. She also raised significantly less than the others, but benefitted by not being drawn into the drama.
The re-count is scheduled for Friday at nine. If Redfern prevails, expect a pretty low-key race with maybe some people continuing to slam Gongora, just for the fun of slamming Gongora. If Fernandez squeaks this out, expect the mudslinging and anonymous flyers to reach a boiling point.
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