Ten candidates have qualified to run for office in the April 9 Coral Gables elections, according to the Friday deadline to enter the race.
Three of the commission’s five seats are in contention: the mayor’s seat, plus the commission seats held by Maria Anderson and Ralph Cabrera, each of whom have termed out.
Candidates had a Friday deadline to qualify. As of Dec. 31, when the campaign finance reports were last filed, the candidates had raised slightly more than $334,000. The next campaign finance report is due March 8 and will cover the two-month period ending March 1.
Incumbent mayor Jim Cason is facing a challenge from Cabrera, who has been a commissioner since 2001.
Cason is seeking a second two-year term, his final run, he says. Cason, 68, a retired U.S. Foreign Services Officer, says he would like to continue to shore up the city’s finances and steer the Gables toward beautification projects in the downtown area and other neighborhoods.
Cason’s latest campaign finance report shows he has raised more than $71,000.
Cabrera, 54, who holds the Group 2 seat, is president of Cabrera Benefits Group, a commercial insurance firm. Cabrera says the city is at a crossroads. He says his tenure on the commission, plus his living in the city for more than 40 years, gives him a deep perspective.
He has raised more than $39,000, according to his last filing.
Three candidates are vying for the Group 2 seat. They are:
• Marlin Ebbert, 65, a community volunteer who has served on several arts, education and civic organizations, including the Barnacle Society, which raises funds to preserve the historic Coconut Grove home. She has raised more than $17,000, according to campaign finance reports.
• Ross Hancock, 58, a communications director for the American Welding Society, announced his intentions to run for the seat toward the end of the final quarter of 2012. As of Dec. 31, he reported $5 in contributions.
• Vicente (Vince) Lago, 35, a member of the Coral Gables Planning and Zoning Board and executive with BDI Construction Co. He has raised more than $106,300, or slightly more than one-third of the total contributions raised by the 10 candidates.
Five candidates are racing for the Group 3 seat, held by Anderson. Like Cabrera, she has served since 2001. She plans to leave politics after the election.
The five are:
• Jackson Rip Holmes, 61, a commercial real estate broker, ran among a field of six for Chip Withers’ vacated Group 4 seat in the 2011 election and lost to Frank Quesada. He qualified after the new year so has not filed his first treasurer’s report.
• Patricia Keon, a member of the Coral Gables Planning and Zoning Board and civic volunteer, reported nearly $55,000 in her treasurer’s report.
• Phillip (P.J.) Mitchell, 39, a partner and shareholder with the law firm Mitchell & West, also filed after the new year and has not yet reported his campaign contributions.
• Norman Anthony (Tony) Newell, 30, vice president of operations for Hammer Construction Corp. He, too, entered the race recently and has not yet filed his campaign finance reports.
• Mary Young, 55, director of the University of Miami School of Business Administration’s Ziff Graduate Career Services Center and former chair of the Coral Gables Community Foundation, has raised more than $45,600.
Voters must be registered by March 9, a month ahead of the April 9 election, to cast a ballot.
The mayor serves for two years and commissioners are seated for four years. The positions are salaried at $34,736 for the mayor and $28,225 for commissioners.
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