Former Miami Beach commissioner and mayoral candidate Michael Góngora filed to run for his old seat Monday.
He is running for the Group 3 seat, which is being vacated by Commissioner Joy Malakoff. She ended a run for a second term in January when she announced she had not fully recovered from a spinal injury last year. Her term will end after city elections in November.
Góngora hopes to begin the third act of his career in Beach politics. An attorney at Becker & Poliakoff who specializes in homeowners association law, he served on the Beach commission from 2006-07 after a special election to replace a commissioner who resigned to run for higher officer. After completing that short term, he was narrowly defeated in 2007 in a bid for the same seat. Then he ran again and was elected in 2009. At the end of that term in 2013, he ran for mayor and lost to Philip Levine.
Góngora pointed to his previous experience in a news release announcing this year’s bid.
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“I am confident the voters will choose my proven leadership and trusted experience to move Miami Beach forward. I pledge to serve the residents with effectiveness and integrity.”
Just like last year, when he unsuccessfully ran for the District 38 seat in the Florida Senate, he proclaimed himself the front-runner in his opening statement. Góngora finished third in the Democratic primary, though he won 55 percent of votes cast in Miami Beach. Miami Beach is one of several communities in the large district, which stretches from the MacArthur Causeway up to the Broward County line on both sides of Biscayne Bay.
“My experience running for state Senator last summer showed me that the residents of Miami Beach still overwhelmingly support me and want me back in office,” he said in Monday’s statement. “Now that my former Commission seat is vacant, I know that I have a responsibility to return to office and help work on the issues Miami Beach is facing including transportation, development, flooding and mass transit.”
Góngora is the president of the Miami Beach Bar Association, and he recently served as chairman of the Miami Beach Latin Chamber of Commerce Advisory Board of Directors.
He is entering the Group 3 race against Adrian Gonzalez, the owner of family-run Cuban eatery David’s Cafe in South Beach, and Cindy Mattson, the president and CEO of EEO Consultants, a human resources management consulting company.
This year’s city elections include one more wide-open commission seat, the mayor’s race and one incumbent in Group 1 — Micky Steinberg, who is currently running unopposed.