Hialeah City Council election takes on bitter edge as candidates fight in TV ads

The Hialeah City Council races on the Nov. 5 ballot are heating up.
The Hialeah City Council races on the Nov. 5 ballot are heating up. Foto de cortesía

Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernandez’ support for a slate of City Council candidates In the Nov. 5 election, as well as attacks by candidate Luis Gonzalez against rival Jesus Tundidor, have hit TV screens and stepped up the bitterness between opponents.

The first advertisement shows Hernandez having a coffee on a Hialeah street corner while he urges a voter to support the candidates he favors in the municipal elections: Lourdes Lozano, who is seeking reelection; González, a former City Council vice president seeking to return; Jackie García-Roves; and Oscar de la Rosa, son-in-law of Miami-Dade County Commissioner Esteban Bovo.

Former state sentator René García (left) endorsed his former chief of staff Jesús Tundidor, who is running for a seat on the Hialeah City Council. Foto de cortesía

The second, paid for by Hialeah For Progress, a political action committee created in Tampa by Hernandez’ former chief of staff, Arnie Alonso, alleges that Tundidor’s campaign is receiving money from people and drug smugglers, based on information about businesses owned by Tundidor’s father, James Tundidor, including the Erotica and Bellas nightclubs in Hialeah.

An El Nuevo Herald report first revealed James Tundidor’s businesses. The son later promised that if elected, he would not favor those businesses. Former state Sen. René García defended Tundidor in another broadcast advertisement, praising his work as his former chief of staff in Tallahassee and president of the Hialeah zoning commission.

Garcia’s ad also endorsed Garcia-Roves and De la Rosa, with Tundidor the youngest candidate in the race. García has repeatedly expressed his interest in helping a new generation of candidates to sit on the Hialeah municipal council.