Cutler Bay Vice Mayor Ernie Sochin skated through reelection against challenger Ed Wolmers, winning 70 percent of the vote.
Sochin received 8,278 votes and Wolmers received 3,519 votes.
A total of 11,797 people voted for vice mayor, but many voters in line on Election Day said they didn’t know too much about the candidates.
“I’m just focusing on the presidential election,” said 31-year-old voter Carlos Torres, who said he would leave the question about the vice mayor blank. “I can’t vote for someone I’ve never heard of.’”
Voter Sandra Duque said she would vote for whichever candidate sounded most familiar. She pulled out one of Sochin’s campaign flyers as she waited in line and said, “Probably this guy.”
Sochin said he made sure to reach as many voters as he could, by visiting all of Cutler Bay’s 10 precincts on Election Day, as well as some on early voting days.
“This has been the hardest I’ve ever worked,” said Sochin, who estimated he must have spoken to 1,000 people over the course of the week.
Wolmers, a frequent presence at Cutler Bay meetings, said he was happy with the results. He received about 3,500 votes, despite running
“To me that means when I go speak at the podium,I speak to 3,500 people,” he said. “And to me that's very exciting.”
Although he could not speak to every voter in Cutler Bay – 15,766 turned out for this election - Sochin said he received a mostly positive response from residents, and will keep in mind their feedback for his next term.
One of the projects he will to focus on in the next four years is supplying free Wi-Fi for the entire town. Wi-Fi is already available at Cutler Ridge Park and it’s in the works at Lakes by the Bay Park.
“I want to make sure everybody can log onto the internet, whether they have the money or not,” Sochin said.
Sochin, who regularly speaks in Cutler Bay classrooms about history, ecology, and other topics, said he wants to be more involved with schools.
“I just love helping kids,” Sochin, a grandfather of three, said. “I get a certain kick out of it.”
Also on his agenda are “new urbanism,” or creating a community where people can live, work and go out, and raising funds for the South Florida Boys and Girls Choir, of which he was just made a board member.