Steve Shiver, the former mayor of Homestead who tried to regain his post despite a career marked by bankruptcies, unproved allegations of drug use and criminal investigations, was defeated Tuesday in a four-person primary race for the mayoral seat.
The two top vote getters who will face each in the Nov. 5 election are Jeffrey Porter, 59, who resigned as mayor in 2018 to run for Florida agriculture commissioner (he lost), and Steven Losner, 58, who served on the city council from 2001-2007 and whose family’s Homestead roots date to the 1920s.
Neither received 50 percent of the vote, necessitating the November election. Porter received 1,001 votes, or about 34 percent of the total. Losner received 899 votes, or about 30 percent.
Shiver, 53, came in third with 19 percent of the vote and Bradley Compton, 40, who had no political experience, came in fourth with 16 percent of the vote.
Just under 3,000 residents cast ballots out of the 32,170 registered voters, amounting to a 9.25 percent turnout.
Porter said as mayor he would like to improve Losner Park; finish the old City Hall project, which has been in the works for more than 10 years; determine whether utility rates should be lowered or raised; and whether the police force needs more staff.
“To come out of a four-person race in the lead position is great,” said Porter, a Homestead native who is a business owner. “But the primary was just the practice round. Now, we’re going to the big game in November.”
Loster said he would like to address revitalizing Southwest Homestead, redeveloping the old city hall and utilizing the land under the recently demolished Homestead baseball stadium. Losner, a local attorney, also wants to address what the police chief says is a police officer shortage in the city.
“It’s been a long road,” Losner said. “I look forward to an issues orientated contest. Right now we are exhausted but excited.”
In addition to the mayoral race, there were six candidates running for two Homestead City Council seats, three for Seat 2 and three for Seat 3. None of the six candidates received more than 50 percent of the vote.
As a result, the two top vote getters in each race will face each other in the Nov. 5 election.
For seat 2, the top two winners were Sean Fletcher and Dennis Ray Maytan Jr. Paul B. Wiggins Jr. was eliminated. Fletcher, 47, received 1,263 votes, or about 44 percent of the total. Maytan, 52, received 957 votes, or about 34 percent. Wiggins, 36, came in third with 22 percent.
Fletcher is the security manager for Florida Power & Light’s Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station and has worked for FPL for 22 years. He said he wants to put more police on the streets, reduce traffic, shake up the administration and fix low city employee morale.
Maytan is a former city Parks and Recreations director. He retired after working in the department for about 30 years. He says he wants to hire more police officers, encourage job growth, and open up more parks and recreational areas.
For seat 3, incumbent Larry Roth and William “Bobby” Rea came out on top. Roth, 55, received 1,245 votes, or about 43 percent of the total. Rea, 60, received 1,003 votes, or about 35 percent. Kim Hill, 55, has been eliminated with 22 percent of the vote.
Roth was first elected to the council in 2015 and he is seeking a second term. If Roth is reelected, he wants to focus on traffic, population density, crime, illegal dumping, trash pickup and other issues.
Rea was a police officer in the Homestead Police Department for 25 years. He wants to focus on public safety and government transparency. He says the police department should require officers to wear body cameras. Miami-Dade police has about 1,500 officers who wear body cameras.
The only female candidate, incumbent Patricia Fairclough, ran unopposed for a third term in seat 6 and was automatically reelected.