Miami Beach

Former Miami Beach commissioner running for Gwen Margolis’ Senate seat

Michael Góngora
Michael Góngora

Former Miami Beach commissioner Michael Góngora is jumping back into politics.

The condo attorney with Becker & Poliakoff announced Friday he is running for the State Senate seat being left behind by Gwen Margolis, whose 40-year career in politics came to an abrupt end this month amid controversy after she referred to her then-opponents as “three Haitians, some teacher and some lawyer.” Days later, Margolis ended her re-election bid and announced her retirement.

Góngora served on the Miami Beach City Commission between 2006 to 2013. His time on the dais ended with an unsuccessful run for the mayor’s seat, which he lost to current mayor Philip Levine.

In a news release announcing his bid, Góngora proclaimed himself the front runner in the race for the District 38 seat, a newly-drawn district that roughly runs from Miami Beach to Aventura.

“I will lead the charge for sensible, achievable victories in alleviating traffic and flooding, restoring quality and affordable education, and increasing jobs paying decent wages,” said in a prepared statement. “I will hit the ground running to keep Floridians safe and to implement achievable solutions to obstacles currently impeding Floridians from fulfilling their American Dream.”

Góngora is currently president of the Miami Beach Bar Association. He recently served as chairman of the Miami Beach Latin Chamber of Commerce Advisory Board of Directors and served as legal adviser for Unity Coalition, a Hispanic LGBT nonprofit.

He is running against former state Rep. Phillip Brutus, former North Miami Mayor Kevin Burns, state Rep. Daphne Campbell, businessman Anis Blémur, attorney Jason Pizzo and high school teacher Don Festge.

Joey Flechas: 305-376-3602, @joeflech