Miami New Times. This week, with the election still hanging in the balance, Luke reflects on the mayoral campaign he made serious.
A few weeks ago, WPLG-Channel 10 political reporter Michael Putney announced to the world that I had no shot at winning the mayor's race. Then, at a forum, he confused the NAACP and the KKK when talking about a column I had written about Sen. Marco Rubio. Finally, on his show,This Week in South Florida, he kept asking why voters would take me seriously.
The question is: Who's taking Mike seriously? Especially after he only invited three of the Cuban American candidates for a debate on his show this past weekend.
Throughout this campaign, I showed Putney, The Miami Herald editorial board, and, most important, Miami-Dade voters -- from young hipsters partying at the Vagabond to little old ladies in Aventura -- that I can't be taken lightly in a countywide election. With $12,000 in campaign contributions, a small band of hard-working, unpaid volunteers, and the power of the alternative press, we put a real scare into the political machines that control our local elections. We showed them that a candidate who is not beholden to special interests can be taken seriously.
I've enjoyed every minute. I had the opportunity to speak in front of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce and the Latin American Business Association. I let their members know their organizations have served only certain segments of the community instead of finding ways to help all of us. I've spoken against the selling-out of the African-American vote by county commissioners and political consultants who are supposed to be protecting their people's interests. I made Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina squirm at the NAACP mayoral forum when I accused him of buying off black candidates Wilbur Bell and Roosevelt Bradley.
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SHOW ME HOW
Above all, I've shown Miami-Dade voters I know and understand the political landscape in our community. I've demonstrated I'm well informed on the issues that affect every person who claims the 305 as home. And I will continue to be a voice for the disenfranchised whether I'm the mayor, a columnist, or a high school football coach.
But this is not over. Today is election day and I am going to make history. But I need your help. I need every Miami-Dade voter who faithfully reads this column to go to the polls. I need you to punch 17. Let's really shake up the establishment.
Follow Luke on Twitter at: @unclelukereal1.