The race for the Miami Lakes mayoral seat has officially started.
Councilman Ceasar Mestre and former Mayor Wayne Slaton both turned in statement of candidacy documents on Monday.
The paper basically declares that a candidate is interested in running for office and that they understand the rules and regulations that comes with it.
Mestre began his second council term in November 2014 after besting political newcomer Xiomara Pazos for the Seat 6 position.
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“I’ve had lots of residents reach out to me and tell me that it’s time for a new chapter in Miami Lakes,” Mestre said. “[They say that] I am qualified, that I have shown my leadership ability, and that I should lead that new chapter.”
Slaton served as the town’s mayor from 2001 to 2008, when he lost his reelection bid to political foe, then-Councilman Michael Pizzi.
He lost to Pizzi again in 2012, and returned to office in October 2013 after winning a special election called after Pizzi’s August 2013 arrest on federal bribery charges. Slaton served until April when Pizzi won his reinstatement case against the town, and took back the mayoral office.
Several attempts were made to contact Slaton on Monday for a comment about his run.
Meanwhile, Pizzi has yet to turn in any paperwork indicating his run for office and says that at the moment “politics is the furthest thing from my mind.”
“Right now my entire focus is on getting things accomplished for the people of Miami Lakes and also enjoying my holidays with my loved ones,” Pizzi said.
Pizzi, and other potential candidates, have plenty of time to decide if they want to run — the qualifying period for the election opens at noon July 25 and lasts until noon Aug. 3.
Councilman Manny Cid turned in his statement of candidacy form in September for the Seat 5 position, while Seat 3 Councilman Tony Lama and Seat 1 Councilman Nelson Rodriguez each turned theirs in last month.