Coral Gables

Raúl Valdés-Fauli elected mayor of Coral Gables

Current Mayor James Cason (right), celebrates the victory of Raul Valdes-Fauli (red and white shirt), who was elected mayor of Coral Gables over Jeannett Slesnick.
Current Mayor James Cason (right), celebrates the victory of Raul Valdes-Fauli (red and white shirt), who was elected mayor of Coral Gables over Jeannett Slesnick. pportal@miamiherald.com

After more than 15 years away from the dais, former mayor Raúl Valdés-Fauli will return to the position, based on unofficial results Tuesday night. Joining him will be Group 3 Commissioner Patricia Keon, who won re-election, while the race for the Group 5 seat is headed for a runoff election.

With all 23 precincts reporting, Valdés-Fauli earned about 51 percent of the vote while Commissioner Jeannett Slesnick received about 49 percent — a difference of less than 200 votes. The race between the two candidates became personal and tense in the final weeks.

“Coral Gables has a lot of opportunities and a lot of problems and I’m very happy to address them with my theories and my proposals,” Valdés-Fauli said. “I congratulate my opponent for having a very intense race and I’m very happy that I won.”

While the mayoral race and one commission race were decided Tuesday, voters will have to return to the polls on April 25 to decide the next Group 5 commissioner as no one won a majority of votes.

Marlin Ebbert, a retired teacher, will face off against Michael Mena, an attorney, as they were the top vote-getters in the field of four candidates.

Ebbert earned about 33 percent of the vote for Group 5 while Mena received about 44 percent. Their opponents, retired police officer Randy Hoff and civil engineer Serafin Sousa, secured about 18 and 5 percent respectively. The winner will take over the remaining two years in the Group 5 seat, the position that Slesnick left to run for mayor.

And in Group 3, Keon was re-elected in the race for her seat over former commissioner Wayne “Chip” Withers. Keon earned about 57 percent of the vote while Withers secured about 43 percent.

Lance Dixon: 305-376-3708, @LDixon_3

Coral Gables Races

All Voters

23 of 23 precincts

▪ Coral Gables Mayor

Jeannett Slesnick 4,114 48.89%

Raúl Valdés-Fauli 4,301 51.11%

▪ Coral Gables Commission Group 3

Patricia Keon 4,717 57.45%

Wayne “Chip” Withers 3,493 42.55%

▪ Coral Gables Commission Group 5

Marlin Ebbert 2,687 32.82%

Randy Hoff 1,481 18.09%

Michael Mena 3,643 44.50%

Serafin Sousa 375 4.58%

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