Sure, yesterday was a big day in elections. Donald Trump buddy and crook Benjamin Netanyahu won reelection in Israel, Raúl Valdés-Fauli edged out Jeannett Slesnick for mayor in Coral Gables, and there was a statistically bizarre tie for Miami Shores' final council seat that could mean an April 30 runoff between newcomer Christian Ulvert and Steve Loffredo.
But the biggest news might be the elevation of Crystal Wagar to the mayor's job in the Shores.
Wagar was chief of staff to Jimmy Morales, who is now Miami Beach city manager and formerly served on the Miami-Dade Commission. She's an attorney who has come up through a dozen roles in Miami-Dade politics, including a stint as interim manager of El Portal. She has won the Thurgood Marshall Distinguished Young Leader Award and the South Florida Women Extraordinaire Award. A couple of years ago, she was named a miracle maker by Big Brothers Big Sisters.
In a conservative city that just a few years ago voted not to support a statewide law that would allow gays to marry anywhere in Florida, she earned more votes than any other candidate and raised the second-most money after Ulvert, according to Al Crespo.
She is cosmopolitan, having been born in Des Moines, educated in Philly, and lived in Singapore, where her husband Kirk was a U.S. ambassador. According to a recent post on a site called Sassy Momma, she is even a friend of Michelle Obama, whom she called "an exceptional mother." She is fast too, having won a track scholarship to Temple University.
Wagar is an African-American woman who has paid her dues and could become a leader in state or national politics — maybe one day to become South Florida's version of the most exceptional first lady of our era.
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.