Not every municipal race was settled last week in Miami-Dade County. On Nov. 19, runoff elections will be held in Miami Beach and Miami’s District 5 to determine who’ll sit on the commission dais in each city.
In the city of Miami, the candidate whom the Editorial Board recommended in the general election, Jacqui Colyer, didn’t win, and she now is backing runoff candidate Richard Dunn II.
However, our nod goes to Keon Hardemon. He is untested in elected office but seems to have the ability to balance the differing interests of the newly reconfigured District 5. The district is the poorest in Miami. Because of redistricting, however, it now encompasses more affluent areas of the city’s Upper Eastside, too.
Mr. Hardemon, 30, is an attorney with the Miami-Dade public defender’s office. Given that his mom is a police officer, he says, he understands the need for well-trained, proactive officers who will keep neighborhoods safe and houses unburgled, while being respectful toward residents. He says that Police Chief Manuel Orosa is taking the department, recently under federal scrutiny for a series of deadly shootings, in the right direction.
Mr. Hardemon says that attracting business investment will be his priority throughout the district. Such investment is especially vital in the westernmost areas of the district where residents too often have to leave the neighborhood to buy groceries, clothing and hardware needs at affordable prices. He wants to engage the Beacon Council in his quest.
Last year, Mr. Hardemon challenged County Commissioner Audrey Edmonson, losing to the incumbent in a runoff. He has shown a heartening measure of growth since that time.
For the Miami Commission’s District 5 seat, the Herald recommends KEON HARDEMON.
Micky Steinberg faces Elsa Urquiza for this open seat. Ms. Steinberg is a member of the city’s Visitor and Convention Authority. She can be an asset on the commission as the city works to unstick its balky process of expanding the convention center. She supports the job that the city manager is doing, but would like an independent audit of the police department. In Group 1, the Herald recommends MICKY STEINBERG.
Voters can confidently return incumbent Jorge Exposito to this seat. He faces attorney Michael Grieco. Mr. Exposito helped negotiate pension reforms that will save the city $145 million in unfunded liability over 30 years. He chairs a working group on noise reduction and is working to introduce a parking app that should help ease traffic congestion. In Group 2, the Herald recommends JORGE EXPOSITO.
Mayor Matti Herrera Bower, term-limited, wants this commission seat. So does opponent Joy Malakoff. During her tenure, Ms. Bower got the long-stalled convention center project off the dime. She led the city to its highest bond rating ever. Given her focus on quality of life and education, she has earned residents’ votes. In Group 3, the Herald recommends MATTI HERRERA BOWER.