Miami-Dade Commission

Braman-backed challengers trail County Hall incumbents

As election night results pour in, the results don’t bode well for a slate of Norman Braman-backed candidates hoping to overhaul Miami-Dade County Hall.

Incumbents Barbara Jordan, Audrey Edmonson, Bruno Barreiro, and Dennis Moss hold leads over challengers who have been supported and bank-rolled by the billionaire auto magnate who overthrew County Mayor Carlos Alvarez and Commissioner Natacha Seijas recently in a historic recall election.

And all but District 3 Commissioner Edmonson are poised to avoid a November runoff by winning more than 50 percent of the vote.

Edmonson, a former Eastern Airlines flight attendant turned El Portal mayor and then county commissioner, has collected just 43 percent of the vote so far. She needs more than 50 percent to win her seat outright.

Edmonson faces five challengers, including Keon Hardemon, a young public defender who has garnered 20 percent of the vote and Braman-backed Alison Austin, who has brought in 15 percent.

In Miami-Dade’s District 1, Barbara Jordan, 69, is leading over Miami Gardens Mayor Shirley Gibson.

Jordan, who has said Gibson is a Braman puppet, holds a 23-point lead over her challenger.

In other races, 19-year incumbent Dennis Moss appears as if he also may avoid a runoff. He is running against three challengers but has won 57 percent of the vote so far.

Commissioner Bruno Barreiro, who represents Miami Beach and Little Havana has tallied 51 percent of the votes tallied. State Rep. Luis Garcia Jr., who is backed by Braman, has garnered 32 percent. Also in that race was neuropsychologist Calixto Garcia, and retiree Carlos E. Munoz.

In the lone open commission seat, Juan C. Zapata is leading with 48 percent of the vote. He is running against Manny Machado and Javier Munoz. Whoever wins will succeed Joe Martinez, who stepped aside to run for county mayor.

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