Miami Gardens - Opa-locka

After do-over of mayoral contest, Mayor Oliver Gilbert is reelected

Mayor Oliver Gilbert won reelection in December special election.
Mayor Oliver Gilbert won reelection in December special election.

Tuesday’s special election in Miami Gardens had a familiar ending, as Mayor Oliver Gilbert held on to the same seat he won in the August election, based on unofficial results.

The special election was ordered by the state Supreme Court after one of the mayoral candidates, James Wright, sued to try to get back in the race.

With all 30 precincts reporting, Gilbert earned about 66 percent of the vote, while former Opa-locka police chief Wright earned about 21 percent. Former councilman Ulysses Harvard and political newcomer Clara Johnson received about 8 and 5 percent respectively.

Tuesday’s results bring the Miami Gardens election season to a close after it was extended due to Wright’s legal challenges. He filed a lawsuit against the city after he was disqualified for having his qualifying check returned by his bank.

His initial lawsuit was unsuccessful, so he appealed and his case was eventually ruled on by the state’s highest court. In September, the state Supreme Court threw out the Aug. 30 election results and ordered a do-over of the mayoral contest.

The city council is now set until 2018 and will focus on addressing issues that have dominated the city’s campaign season, like reducing violent crime and gun violence, fostering development, reducing the city’s unemployment numbers and speeding up the progress of the city’s $60 million general obligation bond for park improvements.

Lance Dixon: 305-376-3708, @LDixon_3