Incumbent Mayor Eduardo H. Muhiña said keeping his seat after Tuesday’s West Miami election was a humbling experience as he defeated newcomer Michael T. Montero.
Muhiña defeated Montero by 96 votes — 371 to 275, according to unofficial results from the Miami-Dade County elections department.
He said winning reelection is humbling.
“It feels great to win,” he said, while celebrating at city restaurant Mi Viejo San Juan. “I continue to do the work I started many years ago and continue serving the residents. It’s an honor to continue that path.”
The mayor’s seat was the lone seat up for grabs. Both incumbent Juan Blanes and newcomer Rhonda Rodriguez ran unopposed for commissioner.
The mayoral seat is for a two-year term, while commissioners serve for a four-year term. The qualifying period started Feb. 18 and ended Feb. 24.
To run for office, the elector must have lived in the city for three years prior to the first qualification date.
Montero, 43, said he enjoyed campaigning.
“I lost, but I am happy,” he said. “It was an incredible experience.”
Muhiña, 57, has served as mayor since 2009 and prior to his role, he was elected as a commissioner from 2003 to 2009. He is an architect and graduated from the University of Houston. Originally from Cuba, he has lived in the city since 1986.
Just recently, he and his staff helped bring the building department to the city as before residents would have to travel outside the city to obtain a permit.
Muhiña said he is ready to continue moving forward with the projects the city has been working on.
“We want to continue working hard with the commissioners,” he said. “We want to continue with the quality of life. We want to make sure we don’t want to raise taxes and continue the redevelopment of the commercial corridor for our residents.”