North Miami Mayor Smith Joseph will face no opposition in his re-election bid after his only opponent, Jean Marcellus, was disqualified Monday for writing a bad check.
Marcellus served as a North Miami councilman from 2009-13 and was taking his third straight shot at the office after he competed in the past two mayoral elections — but finished in fifth and third place respectively.
City Clerk Michael Etienne said he was informed by his deputy clerk, who is serving as supervisor of elections, that the check was returned for insufficient funds. The qualifying fee for the mayoral position is $2,400.
“If their check bounces they have time to try to cure that error, but Florida statute says that can only happen in the qualifying period,” Etienne said. “So at this juncture, Marcellus has failed to qualify.”
Marcellus could not immediately be reached for comment.
Before being disqualified Marcellus, said he had learned from his previous campaigns and felt he was in a better position to lead the city than the current mayor.
“I think we need someone who has the experience and who has the record that speaks for itself,” Marcellus said in an interview. “When I was there I did a great job and I was team player and I know how to work with my colleagues very well.”
Now voters will only decide on who will replace Councilwoman Marie Steril who is stepping down from the District 4 City Council seat.
The candidates for that race include: Alix Desulme, a former city clerk; Jessica Alston, a retired guidance counselor; Carline Paul, a political consultant; Roseline Philippe, an education professor and consultant; and Beverly Hilton, a private school administrator.
Election Day is May 12, with early voting starting April 27 and ending May 10. A runoff for the Seat 4 race will take place June 2, if necessary.