Miami Gardens - Opa-locka

Not too close to call anymore: One Miami Gardens race ends, two more just beginning

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

The final results didn’t change the political calendar in Miami Gardens, with a county elections board on Friday clearing the way for a pair of November runoffs in the city.

Katrina Wilson barely missed avoiding a November runoff when she finished with 49.5 percent of the vote in the four-candidate contest for the city’s Area Four council seat representing the southwest part of Miami Gardens.

The final results certified Friday by Miami-Dade’s canvassing board leaves her facing another nine weeks of campaigning as she goes up against second-place finisher Janice Coakley for the open seat. Coakley won 28 percent in the nonpartisan Aug. 28 primary.

All candidates for the seat compete in the same primary, and the election is over if one candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote. If not, the top two finishers face off in a November runoff on Election Day. Florida law requires a recount if any candidate is eliminated from a runoff or loses by less than half a percentage point.

Incumbent Erhabor Ighodaro won the nonpartisan August primary outright by taking barely more than 50 percent of the vote for his at-large council seat.

miamigardens Erhabor Ighodaro.jpg
Erhabor Ighodaro

His 50.57 percent finish was just ahead of the half-percent margin that would trigger a recount. He beat challengers Andre Williams (29 percent) and Ulysess “Buck” Harvard (20 percent). Both challengers used to serve on the council.

While those two races were close enough that the final results mattered, a third Miami Gardens race produced a less dramatic result when the unofficial returns were announced Tuesday night.

Linda Hodges Holloway took 44 percent of the vote in the three-candidate race for the open Area Two seat, representing the northeast part of the city. That was well short of crossing the 50 percent margin needed to avoid a runoff. She’ll face second-place finisher Reginald Leon (40 percent) in November.

Council members are limited to a pair of consecutive four-year terms.

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