Doral’s founding mayor, Juan Carlos “JC” Bermudez, was returned to the office he held from 2003 to 2012 as he beat incumbent Luigi Boria Tuesday in a runoff election for the city’s top seat by a two-to-one margin.
Boria, who was running for a second term, won 33 percent of the vote, while Bermudez — who could not run for reelection in 2012 because of term limits — won 67 percent.
The two candidates faced a runoff because no candidate secured the majority (50 percent plus one vote) needed to win outright on Nov 8. A third candidate, Sandra Ruiz, won the fewest votes and was eliminated from the race.
“There may be some déjà vu; I’ll let you know in a few days,” Bermudez, 54, told the Miami Herald on Tuesday night. “I think the residents clearly sent a message, that they want to bring Doral back to the values it once had. It’s a great message from the community that it’s about decency not money, honesty and not dirty campaigning.”
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Boria did not immediately return phone calls Tuesday night.
Also elected: Long-time political activist Claudia Mariaca beat political newcomer Adriana Moyano to take council seat No. 1. Mariaca won 56 percent of the vote; Moyano won 44 percent.
According to the Miami-Dade Elections Department, 7,044 people voted — a 31 percent turnout.
Mariaca and Bermudez join Councilwoman Christi Fraga, who was reelected on Nov. 8 by winning 53 percent of the vote against two candidates.
“Doral gave a strong message today that this change was needed; I’m happy to be part of that change,” Mariaca said.
Bermudez, born in Cuba, has served on numerous community boards including the Miami-Dade County League of Cities, the Florida League of Mayors, the Miami-Dade County Commission on Ethics and Public Trust, and the Doral Community Coalition. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame Law School and has lived in Doral for almost 18 years.
Mariaca, 42, is a parent-teacher association board member, a homeowners association director, a community activist and an officer of a financial consulting company. Mariaca has focused on “smart growth” and bringing more transparency onto the dais.
“We need to ensure that development in our great city is taking into account not just our present needs but the future needs of the community in order to preserve our quality of life,” Mariaca said.
Last year, Mariaca proposed an ordinance — later passed by the council — to improve the involvement of residents in the zoning process. She’s lived in Doral for 10 years.