Residents of North Miami will have three choices to replace suspended mayor Lucie Tondreau, after about a month and a half of speculation and uncertainty over when the election would actually take place.
The choices may sound familiar to residents since all three men ran for mayor last year. The candidates in the Aug. 26 special election are former mayor Kevin Burns, former mayoral candidate Smith Joseph and former councilman Jean Marcellus. Burns made it to a runoff against Tondreau, Joseph finished third and Marcellus came in fifth.
Burns, 55, served as mayor from 2005 to 2009 and followed his leadership of the city by running for U.S. and state Senate seats. Burns initially said he was delaying his decision to run after filing a new motion in his lawsuit questioning Tondreau’s residency. An appeals judge ruled earlier this month that Burns could not challenge her qualifications to run but could challenge her ability to keep her job, but he does not want to wait for that process.
“The election is here, and any resolution that would take place in a court would not happen for a while,” Burns said.
Joseph, 52, is a physician who practices in North Miami. He will be taking his second shot at leading the city.
“There is no one more in touch with the city of North Miami than Dr. Smith Joseph,” Joseph said to the Herald.
Marcellus, 54, served as a city councilman representing District 3 before vacating his seat last year to run for mayor. He said he wants to continue the good work that the city has done and focus on education and economic development.
Voters much be registered by July 28 and early voting will begin Aug. 11. A runoff election, if necessary, would take place Nov. 4.