Miami Gardens - Opa-locka

Miami Gardens City Council: Results too close to call, with at least one runoff

Union members in red shirts sit in the audience at Miami Gardens City Hall as the City Commission hears a presentation about development.  Three of the six commission seats were up for election in 2018, and only one was filled during the August elections.
Union members in red shirts sit in the audience at Miami Gardens City Hall as the City Commission hears a presentation about development. Three of the six commission seats were up for election in 2018, and only one was filled during the August elections. sblaskey@miamiherald.com

With three seats open on the Miami Gardens City Council, Tuesday’s unofficial results in two of the races were too close for the races to be called.

The results won’t be final until Friday, when mail-in and provisional ballots could change Tuesday’s totals. And if the results remain close, they could trigger automatic recounts.

If Tuesday’s results are unchanged, only one candidate — Erharbor Ighodaro, the only incumbent on the ballot — will have been reelected. The two top vote-getters in each of the two other races will be on the November ballot in runoff races.

Ighodaro won 50.57 percent of the votes in the race for Seat 6, a citywide post. If the official results narrow Ighodaro’s margin to less than one half of a percent, state law requires a recount.

The 45-year-old educator was first appointed to the seat in 2012 and won reelection in 2014. He was the biggest spender among the 10 candidates, spending almost $47,000 of the more than $65,000 he had raised two weeks before the vote.

Andre Williams, 50, a real estate attorney who served as a councilman from 2006 to 2012, won 29 percent of the vote and would be in the November runoff, if one is required.

The other contender for the seat was eliminated: Ulysses Harvard, 61, an insurance agent, who served on the council in 2005 and who won 20 percent of Tuesday’s vote.

For Seat 4, the Southwest district, Katrina Wilson missed winning the seat by a hair: She won 49.99 percent of the vote, two votes less than she needed to win. Unless the official results put her over 50 percent, that race will go to a November runoff. If the official results put her between 50 and 50.5 percent, there would be a recount.

The other candidate in a November runoff would be Janice Coakley. Wilson, 55, is an educator; Coakley, 60, is an administrative assistant for the city of North Miami Beach.

Two other candidates were eliminated: Shannon Campbell, 48, a business owner, and Sandra McDowell, 51, an insurance broker.

Only the race for Seat 2, the Northeast district, had clear-cut results. The two top vote-getters, Linda Hodges Holloway with 43 percent and Reginald “Reggie” Leon with 40 percent, will have a November runoff. Leon, 39, is an operations supervisor for UPS. Holloway, 67, is a businesswoman.

Eliminated from the race: Francis Dave Ragoo, 58, a Realtor, who drew only 17 percent of the vote.

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