Three nonpartisan Miami-Dade County Commission seats are in play after close August election results required a November runoff.
Seeking a third term, Commissioner Audrey Edmonson, 59, faced five challengers in the primary.
Keon Hardemon, 29, an attorney at the Public Defender’s Office, emerged from that election as Ms. Edmonson’s closest contender in this north Miami-Dade district that’s very diverse, running from Miami Shores south through Little Haiti, Liberty City, Allapattah to Overtown. His uncle Billy Hardemon and aunt Barbara Hardemon are well-known in political circles and are running his campaign.
We believe Commissioner Edmonson, who was raised in Liberty City and served as El Portal’s mayor, is the better choice. Ms. Edmonson has pushed for a retail/residential transit village that is breaking ground soon at Northwest 62nd Street and Seventh Avenue. She does not support term limits for commissioners (we do) but she nevertheless voted in favor of giving voters that choice on this November’s ballot.
For Miami-Dade County Commission, District 3, The Herald recommends AUDREY M. EDMONSON.
State Rep. Luis Garcia, 66, is in a charged race against incumbent Bruno Barreiro, 46, to represent a district that covers parts of Miami Beach west through Little Havana.
Mr. Barreiro has faced public backlash over his vote to approve the Marlins Stadium deal, which in hindsight should have been better vetted by the county, and he approved an unpopular property-tax increase. First elected in 1998, Mr. Barreiro is the front-runner in this race and he has big money behind him, but we believe that it’s time for a commissioner who asks the tough questions and doesn’t simply go along with the lobbyists who curry favor.
Mr. Garcia, a former fire chief and Miami Beach city commissioner, knows the difficulty of balancing budgets, from the state level to a city’s fire department. He is a reformer, which is what the county needs. He’s passionate about good governance and may come off too strong at times, but if elected we expect him to put the interests of his constituents ahead of special interests. For Miami-Dade County Commission, District 5, The Herald recommends LUIS GARCIA.
Former state Rep. Juan C. Zapata, 45, is vying for the seat of Commission Chairman Joe Martinez, who lost his bid for mayor.
He faces Manny Machado, a police detective who seems to relish controversy.
The race for this Kendall area district has gotten nasty with shadowy groups running smear campaigns against Mr. Zapata, who was a thoughtful proponent of reforms in Tallahassee.
Mr. Zapata supports lifting burdensome red tape to spur construction in Miami-Dade, and he sees the healthcare and technology sectors as ripe for growth, a vision that’s needed on the often parochial commission.
For Miami-Dade County Commission, District 11, The Herald recommends JUAN C. ZAPATA.