As the summer approaches, North Miami’s District 4 residents will return to the polls June 2 to elect a replacement for Councilwoman Marie Steril.
Alix Desulme and Carline Paul will compete for the seat in a runoff because neither candidate got more than 50 percent of the vote in the May 12 election. Desulme received about 36 percent; Paul, about 31 percent. Their opponents Roseline Philippe, Beverly Hilton and Jessica Alston received about 16, 14 and 3 percent, respectively.
Desulme is an elementary school teacher and most recently served as city clerk in 2009 before vacating the position to run for state House District 108.
Paul, known to many as “Teacher Carline,” is a community outreach liaison at the North Miami Adult Education Center and has been a presence on Haitian radio for years.
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Both candidates said they want to focus on their own campaigns and avoid personal attacks and have emphasized that they have the right idea to reach out to District 4 voters.
“I’m more experienced than Carline, I’ve been there, I’m a resident,” Desulme said.
Paul has said that because of her work in the community, particularly with Haitian-American residents, she is best equipped to pick up where Steril left off.
“At the end of the day I know I am a servant, and I am here to serve,” Paul said.
Along with Paul and Desulme, other candidates who did not make it to the runoff hope that turnout is high for the runoff election. In the city’s regular election, about 17 percent of District 4 residents participated.
“A lot of them feel the election that they are really focused on is the presidential election, but municipal elections affect your daily life,” Philippe said.
“If you have a problem with your water bill you can’t call President Obama,” Philippe said.
Early voting for the election continues through May 31 at the North Miami Public Library, 835 NE 132nd St. For more information, visit the Miami-Dade elections website at http://miamidade.gov/elections or http://northmiamifl.gov.