Today, Surfside chooses its destiny. Mock naval battles, legalized marijuana, and blissful chaos in town hall -- or a (let's face it) pretty darn nice lady named Michelle Kligman.
It's been a bruising special election campaign for the open commission seat in the weird little beachfront town of 5,000 since I announced I was running five weeks ago. The Miami Herald has even had the audacity to doubt my campaign's seriousness while still acknowledging my messianic ability to "walk out of the ocean dry and fully dressed in suit and tie." This morning, an attack ad surfaced, filled with half-truths and out-of-context photos from my admittedly hardscrabble youth.
I've galvanized the voters, as you can tell by this photo I took of the Coachella-esque scene outside the town hall polling station this morning. If the count on the ballot feeder was correct, an hour and 20 minutes into polling, I was the fourteenth voter. On the way down the stairs, I ran into Mayor Daniel Dietch and had this exchange:
Me: "Are you voting for me?"
He then looked at me, stonefaced, for a long moment.
Kligman -- pronounced the way Jerry Seinfeld says Newman -- was in the parking lot with a couple of aides, waving signs. So I went to a rival corner on my bicycle and yelled, "Vote Gus!" for about 20 minutes.
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Then I went home and ate some yogurt -- which I promptly spat up when I watched an attack ad on my character, which surfaced on the Internet this morning. It exposed some facts about my past I didn't want getting out, such as that I once wore way too much Phat Farm and liked to pose with dull switchblades.
In the interest of Florida campaign laws, I think I should make it clear that I did not produce this ad, and I am not a member of Citizens for a Better Surfside. But a couple of my friends from my hometown of New York City are in for wet willies upon my return.