Miami Beach Commissioner Jerry Libbin already has his New Year’s resolution: become Miami Beach Mayor Jerry Libbin.
Libbin, who is president of the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce, quietly filed paperwork on Dec. 18 to campaign for the city’s top post.
“I’m very excited about it,” Libbin, 60, said Monday in an interview. “I feel it’s another progression in my community service.”
First elected to the commission in 2005, Libbin’s 2013 run for mayor has been expected. He is facing term limits and long ago acknowledged interest in the post, currently occupied by Matti Herrera Bower, who after six years as mayor must step down in November.
By filing, he could set off a game of musical chairs on the Miami Beach Commission in what is likely to be a wide-open election year that features the first open mayor’s seat since 2007.
Commissioner Michael Góngora, whose four-year term ends this November, is also expected to run for mayor rather than seek re-election as a commissioner.
Góngora issued this statement Monday: “Miami Beach is at a crossroad and new leadership is essential to the betterment of Miami Beach. I look forward to a campaign which highlights who is the better choice for the residents of Miami Beach.”
And after serving three terms as mayor, Bower says she may campaign for a return to the City Commission.
With Commissioner Jorge Exposito also nearing the end of his first term, four positions on the seven-member commission will be up for grabs during a crucial time in Miami Beach government. Also on tap in 2013: finding a new city manager, designing a 52-acre convention center district, and restoring faith in a government rocked this year by corruption scandals.
“We have so many exciting things in front of us,” Libbin said. “But we also have a lot of challenges in front of us too.”