Gimenez stumps for Coral Gables mayoral candidate

03/22/2013 2:18 PM

03/22/2013 2:20 PM

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez popped over to the Biltmore Hotel’s Fontana Courtyard Tuesday evening to host a fundraiser for Coral Gables commissioner Ralph Cabrera.

Cabrera, who is term-limited, is seeking the Gables mayor’s seat in a race against incumbent Jim Cason.

Gimenez and Cabrera, two old pals who once coached football together at the Coral Gables Youth Center, swapped stories amid the politics.

Gimenez said he supported Cabrera’s campaign because of their personal connection — “Ralph and I have been friends a long time” — and because he feels that fiscal accountability will be a primary goal to tackle in Coral Gables.

“We have to bring in fiscal accountability and accountability in general, and he’s the better person for the job,” Gimenez said. “Not to take away from the current mayor, but Ralph would do a better job and we’ve known each other longer.”

Cabrera, who spent part of his morning fielding questions from The Miami Herald’s editorial board with the other nine candidates in the three-seat race quipped, “I was actually excited because I got to debate the mayor instead of the city manager,” a reference to his frequent battles at City Commission meetings with City Manager Pat Salerno.

Among Cason’s supporters: former Gables elected officials Raul Valdez-Fauli, Dorothy Thomson, Chip Withers and Jack Eads.

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